I remember the first time I heard of Heifer International. I was sitting in a Peace Corps van, driving through the streets of Thies, the second largest city in Senegal. Two of my fellow volunteers started excitedly chattering as we passed a sign. They slapped on the window and shrieked at each other. I didn’t really understand the excitement, but I noted the sign, a cow jumping over the word “Heifer.” At the moment, it didn’t mean much to me, but looking back on that moment, it was the start to something amazing.
Heifer International didn’t come back into my life for almost 2 more years. During those years I worked as an Environmental Education Extension Agent for the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa. This was a job that would change my life for the better, opening a door into international development and aide work. This is where I was meant to be; this is why I am on this Earth. I fell in love with Senegalese culture, seeing the world and working for Peace Corps, but it all had to come to an end eventually and I needed to figure out what life held for me post-Peace Corps.
That’s when I was reintroduced to Heifer International came back, through the same friends who had been in that van years before. They ranted and raved about their experiences working at the Heifer Ranch and Heifer Farm (known then as Overlook Farm). They said I would love it and it would be a perfect fit. I wasn’t sure about it, but I took the leap and applied. It was a smooth process, including couple of emails, a less-than-audible phone interview, and before long I received notice I had been accepted onto the Heifer Farm as an Education Volunteer. So I moved my life home from Senegal, West Africa to Los Angeles, CA, where I spent a couple of weeks before moving to Rutland, Massachusetts, the home of Heifer Farm.
I had no idea what would be in store for me once I arrived but I knew I needed a new home. From the moment I stepped foot on the farm I was surrounded by like-minded, open, exciting people; people who were excited to have me and eager to include me in this new community. There were even some returned Peace Corps volunteers, like myself, from Panama, Kenya and Paraguay. Living on Heifer Farm and learning about the various Heifer projects all over the world motivated me to take my education into my own hands and start exploring new realms of interest. This was the beginning of a binge of documentaries, TED talks, and podcasts, topics surrounding food, food systems, hunger, poverty and international development. In the first few months at Heifer Farm I felt like a sponge, soaking up everything and all that was thrown at me.
I could see this love to learning coming out in my work through my facilitation of groups. I knew I was not ready to leave the farm after my original contract ended, so I decided to extend through the summer, even deferring graduate school for a year, to make sure I could feel complete in my Heifer experience. I will have completed 7 months on the Heifer Farm in November and each month has brought a new, exciting load of information about what Heifer and other similar organizations are doing to bout hunger and poverty all over the world. Without this Heifer experience, I would not feel as confident as I do now to take on graduate school and continue my career path into development and aide work.
Heifer Farm has created the perfect environment that helps to educate the local public, while also allowing the volunteers, who devote 24hr/7 days a week to the organization, to grown as individuals. Heifer International is a community of people. An environment I will seek out no matter where this life takes me and I am so proud to have spent this time as a residential volunteer on Heifer Farm.
- Nicolette Ulrich
The end of hunger isn’t a fairy tale
Welcome to the Heifer family. Donors, volunteers, recipients and our teams around the world share a common goal: To end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way. It’s a lofty goal, but we know it's achievable. Together we are the family that can create this change.
Together we can make cows fly
See stories of how lives are being transformed around the globe through Heifer's work in more than 20 countries.
See where Heifer is working around the world to end hunger.
We are a sixth grade classroom at Prairie Crossing Charter School in Grayslake, IL. In December, we received word from an anonymous donor that they are willing to donate $250 to a charity of our choosing in our name. The students were so excited about the possibility of giving to an organization that offers help to people in need. They were given the challenge to research different organizations and create a persuasive presentation of why that organization should get the donation. Click the title of this story to read more!
December 26, 2014 (This was raised by) my fourth grade catechism class at St. Joseph's in South Lyon, MI after studying scripture... "When you were hungry and I fed you? Naked and I clothed you? Thirsty and I gave you to drink? "When you did it to the least of these, you did it for me." And they each scrimped and saved and came up with $100. Considering they are only six in number, I am so very proud of them. They wanted to send personal messages. I promised I'd send them along... Sincerely, Ann D.
On October 2, 2014, we received a letter from long time supporter Barbara of Ohio. Her letter was a response to a note she received from one of Heifer International's Donor Services Representatives, Christina. We wanted to hear what makes Barbara passionate about Heifer's mission. Click on the title of this story to read more!
I'm not a Facebook participant, but when I read the Facebook "favorite memories" in the current issue of World Ark, I had to share my favorite Heifer memory with you. Click on the title of this story to read more!
Received on December 23, 2014, and in honor of the upcoming holiday season, we thought we would share these adorable and inspiring collages created by some of Heifer International's youngest supporters. If you would like to share your artwork and letters with Heifer International, we would encourage you to either email them to email@example.com or mail them to: Heifer International Attn: Donor Services 1 World Ave Little Rock, AR 72202 We look forward to the mail we'll be receiving from you during the 2014-15 holiday season!
Dear Heifer International, I'm happy to enclose a check for $200 raised by our first grade students through a cookie sale and family donations! Our students were very enthusiastic in the roles they played to help purchase animals for needy families.Their awareness of the needs of others was heightened and the realization that children can make a difference in our big world was made clear. Thank you for your assistance with our project! Sincerely, Mary Smith, First Grade Teacher
If we all work together, we can make cows fly!Kamil Madanat, Partnership & Business Development Manager, Heifer International
Saturday is the day! The Heifer Festival, taking place in Richwood, OH, is fun for all kids. Play games, win tickets and trade tickets won for prizes at the General Store! And don't forget to bring your teddy bears that need surgery. We can fix them. Kids not only love to play the games and win prizes at the Heifer Festival, they also love the animals. It's a day they won't forget! Bring the family for a day of fun. To learn more about the Heifer Festival, check out heiferfestival.org. For a list of the scheduled events, please visit the following link: http://heiferfestival.org/2015%20Program.html.
The work we do may be serious, but we always need to find the fun.Pierre Ferrari, CEO of Heifer International
For the fifth year children attending Kids Summer Day Camp at the First Baptist Church in Girard have given their support to Heifer International by collecting their pennies. Click the title of this story to read more!
Cindy Wakeland, Director of Religious Education with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Urbana Champaign in Illinois, recently notified Heifer International of an incredible day camp they hosted. Click the title of this story to read more!
If you want to make yourself happy, serve others. If you want to make others happy, serve others.Pierre Ferrari, CEO of Heifer International speaking at the 2015 YNPN National Conference & Leaders Institute
Heifer would like to thank Avery for participating in our first annual honor card contest!