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.
Our Golden Rule Sunday School has been supporting Heifer International for several years. Social action projects are a big part of our program, and we try to combine local and international projects, including volunteering at a nearby forest preserve, collecting books for children that have no books in their home, making lunches for a homeless shelter, and an ongoing change jar to collect for Heifer International. Click the title of this story to read more...
We raised this money with our 4-H group by making a lemonade stand that supports "Chickens for Change." We are donating all of the profits from our lemonade stand to Heifer International. Click the title of this story to read more...
My name is Shiloh. I live in Durham, NC and I just turned 10-years old. I know I am so lucky to live in a family that is able to take care of me, but I know a lot of people can't take care of their families so I asked my friends to donate money to Heifer International for my 10th birthday party instead of giving me presents. I was HOPING to receive enough to buy a goat for a family and I DID!! I am so excited that a family will now have milk and cheese for themselves and to sell for profit!! Yay!! A goat!!! I hope the goat and the family will be very happy!! Love, Shiloh
I am happy to announce that after two weeks of hard work, our students from Preschool through 8th grade have raised $1,417.31 to give to Heifer International. This fundraising was a school-wide service project and we are very proud of the students! Click the title of this story to read more...
We filled the Ark and had a great time doing it! ...As an incentive, the Religious Education staff promised to kiss a pig if the goal was reached. Click on the title of this story to read more...
The Ark became the conversational topic of the community. It offered our members a wonderful opportunity to spread the word of the fantastic work done by Heifer International. Click the title of this story to read more...
I have 30 students from a Title I school where more than 75% of them receive free and reduced lunch. They participated in two swap meets, a bake sale, the Chores for Change fundraiser, collecting cans and bottles and asking for donations in order to collect enough funds to help send a girl to school. Click the title of this story to read more...
Valentina, a kindergarten student in North Carolina, shared, "I like helping people." Thank you, Valentina, for helping Heifer help people!
On Wednesday, the Vacation Bible School at Henderson United Methodist Church in Little Rock received a visit from Heifer Village and learned how a simple animal, such as a goat, can have a great impact on families in need! Click the title of this story to read more...
In 2012 we began a 20k trail run. Hoof It for Heifer is held on the Boy Scouts of America hiking trail in Petit Jean State Park atop Petit Jean Mountain near Morrilton, AR. The popularity of the run among trail runners has increased each year and with that we have been able to increase the amount we give to Heifer. We held our fourth run in April 2015 with 126 runners registered. Click the title of the story to read more...
...I had challenged the children of our congregation (ten children ages 3- to 11-years old) to help raise money to buy one sheep for Heifer. And when I gave them that challenge, one of the older girls said that they would raise enough for two sheep and the rest of the children cheered--they were very enthusiastic! Click the title of this story to read more.
Transitional kindergarten student, Carla, shared, "Heifer helps people!" If you would like to learn more about our mission, please click on the following link: http://www.heifer.org/ending-hunger/index.html.
A student at Hickory Day School in North Carolina sent us this photo, depicting their idea of a world without hunger. Thank you for sharing!
Reid said about his drawing, "Heifer gives a poor person a chicken." You can learn more about our chick donations here: http://www.heifer.org/gift-catalog/index.html.
In 2005 I was an intern as a pre-service teacher in a first grade classroom where we studied all about insects. As a parting gift to my class, I made a donation to Heifer International in their honor. I made a donation of a honeybee hive. We talked in class about how donating these bees would be a lifelong gift and that when they had children who were in first grade learning about insects and honeybees that hive would still be producing honey in a village somewhere. If you are interested in learning more about Heifer International's honeybee donation option, please click here.