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.
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I wanted to share my daughters display that she put together for her 4h agricultural fair that she and her club (Doesy Doats Dairy goat club) participated in. The public loved the display and many people took advantage of the pamphlets and goodies that you generously sent her (Sarah L). Thanks again for letting my daughter and her club be part of your wonderful foundation!
1966 - A photo of a Korean mother and her two children who received the gift of livestock through Heifer's mission efforts.
I’m sure you’ve heard the old proverb; “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day but if you teach a man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime.” Well what if everyone helped their neighbors with this same concept. The news is constantly filled with the growing disproportionate wealth in this world and the middle class disappearing bit by bit. But there are still organizations out there that are trying to help those less fortunate help themselves... Please Click the title to read the rest of the story!
People and farm animals filled the parking lot Saturday of Church of the Holy Nativity for its 10th annual Family Farm Fest. Along with providing the opportunity for families to get up close to, and learn about, a variety of live farm animals, the event supports Heifer International... Please click the title of the story to read more!
Our Precious Angels' Child Care Center and Pre-School, in its many efforts to continually give back to the community, has successfully completed its first Read to Feed program... Please click the title to read more!
We tallied the votes... this year’s kid-friendly honor card art competition winner is Laila, 12, from Indian Harbour Beach, FL! Your drawing of what Heifer means to you was voted the top card! Congratulations, Laila!
We need YOUR vote! After receiving over 100 drawings for our new 2016 kid-friendly honor card, we have narrowed it down to four finalists! Vote by clicking on the links in the story and commenting with the number of your favorite drawing to help us pick the new card! Please click the title of the story to get the links.
Submitted by Nora L | Armonk NY
The Family of Kysuconova. Grandmother, parents and 3 children, 2 boys and 1 girl are thanking most heartily for the generous gift of a fine cow given to them from the American friends of Czechoslovakia; this cow is their saviour from starvation.
One sweet gesture by one 4-H family in Dickinson County, Kansas, has bloomed onto a global scale. In three years, the Tokach family of Abilene, Kansas, has raised enough donations through their 4-H beekeeping project and their small batches of honey to donate 165 honeybee hives through Heifer Project International. That’s $4,950 worth of honeybees that are donated to villagers around the world who are trying to change their lives. Please click the title of the article to read more!
Dear Heifer International, We are students in Miss DeMerell's second grade class in Chandler, Arizona. We earn class money each week for things like showing role model behavior, performing our class jobs, and reading minutes... Please click the title to read the full letter!
“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!!