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Thousands of visitors pour into Heifer Ranch every year. And for the past 20 plus years, they have all been met at the entrance by Briggs or Stratton: the Heifer Ranch water buffalos. Children and adults alike typically gaze in wonderment at the massive beasts that represent one of Heifer’s largest and most favored animals in our gift catalog.

Stratton at the Ranch
Stratton was 26-years-old. We'll miss him.

It is with a heavy heart that I share that earlier this month, Stratton passed away. He was 26-years-old. He was preceded in death by his best friend, brother and Ranch colleague Briggs, who passed away in 2012. Following Briggs’ death, Stratton continued carrying the flag for nearly three more years to entertain and educate visitors every day. Everyone in the Heifer International family—from staff to volunteers—is saddened by the loss.

In projects all over the world, water buffalo just like Briggs and Stratton allow small-scale farmers in Heifer projects to plant four times as many crops, generating income to use for medicine, education and home improvements. And just like Briggs and Stratton, these animals become family members to the farming families they join. Stratton's presence at the Ranch was a reminder of the important role that livestock play in providing hope while ending hunger and poverty worldwide. 

So to recognize Briggs and Stratton’s faithful service to Heifer International, you can honor their memory by purchasing your own water buffalo through our gift catalog and pass on the gift of life and hope to a family who needs your help. Briggs and Stratton wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Editor’s note: Heifer Ranch is currently exploring the financial feasibility of purchasing new water buffalo to replace Briggs and Stratton in the future. Stay tuned to Heifer’s blog to learn more and watch for your chance to possibly name them by following Heifer on Facebook.


Jessica Ford

Jessica Ford serves as the Global Communications Manager for Heifer International at its headquarters in Little Rock, Arkansas. Ford joined Heifer in 2007 and soon transitioned into the executive office as Manager of Operations and Assistant to the COO. In 2012, she was relocated to Heifer's country office in Peru, as part of Heifer's first leadership development program giving her the unique opportunity to dive head first into Heifer's work "in the field" for a year. Now she is in Arkansas with her family where she loves watching her son play baseball, reading, rowing crew and drinking Dr Pepper.