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.
“When I grow up, I want to go to these places and help the people,” first grader Diego Reyes, reflected on his experience with Heifer International’s Read to Feed program. Diego is one of four extraordinary first-graders along with a big brother who participated in the Read to Feed program at Pietrini School, located in Franklin Park, Illinois... Please click the title of the story to read more!!
Three years ago, several of our members were sitting around dreaming up something different to do as an outreach project. We decided on Heifer International and sponsoring an Ark, but we wanted to approach raising the funds differently than anything we had done before... Please click the title of the story to read more!
When Bob and Joann Sanbloom of West Lafayette, Indiana recently sent invitations to their 60th anniversary celebration hosted by their daughters, they included a gentle suggestion, “No gifts, please, but we’ll accept quarters at the party to donate to our favorite charity—Heifer International.” ... Please click the title to read the rest of the story!
Right before Christmas last year, Wheatland’s Finest 4-H Club decided to do more for their community service project than the traditional canned food drive and ringing of the bell for the Salvation Army. As a club they began investigating what they could do to help a family and a community. The club found the charity Heifer International (HI) fit the bill... Please click the title of the story to read more!
Uzo Aduba Says Ugandans' Generosity of Spirit During Charity Trip 'Was Unlike Anything I Had Seen Before.' ... Please click the title of the story to read more!
This map shows the areas where heifers were distributed in Western Germany through August 15th, 1950. They reached their immediate goal for this project of 1,200 heifers.
May was Heifer Month at The Church of the Pilgrimage UCC in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The church has been a partner with Heifer International for more than four decades... Please click the title of the story to read more!
"The International Heifer Project needs three cattle attendants every six weeks to go to Bremen, Germany. We have on file, hundreds of applications from fine men, most of whom are excellent choices, but how shall we decide who should go?" ... Find out how Seagoing Cowboys could win a trip to Europe by clicking on the title of this story!
Ecuador is in the midst of recovery after an April earthquake killed over 660 people. Little Rock-based Heifer International has been working with farmers and fishing families in the region just outside the earthquake's epicenter for decades. Oscar Castañeda, Vice President of the Americas with Heifer, spoke with KUAR's Jacob Kauffman about the path of recovery efforts... Please click the title of the article to read more!
Various gifts go through the hands of the Evangeliche Hilfswerk, but the shipment which arrived on 6 June at the main office in Kassel was quite an unusual one... Please click the link to read more!