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By Liana Hayrapetyan | Communication and PR Officer | Heifer Armenia
The Iskandaryan family received a pregnant heifer from a fellow villager in the fall of 2011 as part of a Passing on the Gift® ceremony. This family, from Lukashin, in the Armavir region, was one of 26 families to receive pass-on animals from 26 original families engaged in Heifer Armenia’s Lukashin Cattle Breeding Project since 2008.
The family of eight−grandpa Matevos, his son Ashot, Ashot’s wife Vardanush, and their three daughters and two sons−was happy to receive the cow. Vardanush said, “The pregnant heifer has already delivered a very pretty calf. My son Davit and my daughter Ani like to take care of it. They brush and feed it and take it out for walks. The calf likes when the children pat its head. It happily moos when it sees them.”
Ashot added, “After the delivery of the calf we started to receive the benefits of the cow. Now it provides fresh milk daily. The children like to drink a cup of milk before going to school in the morning. Vardanush prepares cheese and butter from the milk. My son Davit adores bread and butter with the jam prepared from apricots grown in our garden. Heifer’s assistance is indeed very helpful for us.”
The family members share the work on the farm. Ashot cleans the barn, gets hay for the cow and her calf, and takes the cow to the pasture. Vardanush feeds and brushes the cow, milks her and processes the milk. Her older children help her with most of the household tasks, while the younger ones help with whatever they can or watch attentively to learn what they don’t know.
The Iskandaryans grow grapes and apricots in the garden behind their house. They also cultivate a small piece of land about a half-mile away, where they grow cabbage to sell for additional income. Grandpa Matevos is responsible for watering the apricot and grape trees, as well as the cabbage plants.
The family is very happy and thankful for the support they have received from Heifer. They hope to have even more success as their small family farm continues to grow.
Learn how you can be a part of the exciting changes in Armenia through Heifer International.