No javascript detected! Our online shopping basket requires javascript. You can also complete your order by phone at 855.9HUNGER
You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience and security. You can also complete your order by phone at 855.9HUNGER
Return to World Ark Blog Landing

One of my favorite things about my job is traveling around the world and meeting the incredible people with whom we work – the inspiring women, the innovative men, and the curious children.

And sometimes, to meet such people, my travel is much shorter, just an hour’s drive away to Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Arkansas.

I traveled with Heifer’s executive leadership team and Ish from sr4partners (incredible organization, you should check them out!) and we spent almost two days at the Heifer Ranch. Our group consisted of Steve Denne, COO; Bob Bloom, CFO; Cindy Jones-Nyland, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Resource Development ; Leesa Ferguson, Vice President of Human Resources, René Rockwell, Executive Office Director and Board Liaison; Hilary Haddigan, Director of Planning and Effectiveness; and of course, myself.

During our stay we were invited to dinner with the volunteers (these volunteers actually live and work on the farm). The catch? We were cooking dinner!

The first order of business was to review our ingredients and see what we could create.

There was a delicious array of food (not shown above!) grown by the wonderful people at the Ranch.

So we organized our menu, assigned tasks and we got to work!

As the meal began to come together, the kitchen filled with jokes, stories and laughter.

It wasn't as if this was our first time together. We all see each other in meetings and around the office and we talk... a LOT...every day. The difference, of course, was the environment. Oh and the food! There's something incredible about cooking your meal and knowing that the food that you're preparing came from the land, just outside. Heifer Ranch has a great Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program that provides seasonal produce from the end of April until September and all the food is grown in a certified, organic, agricultural environment - now that's what I call good eating!

Our finished spread was delicious and included fried chicken, pasta with a marinara sauce, stuffed bell peppers, a chocolate bread pudding, and additional treats provided by the volunteers.

But that wasn't even the best part. The highlight was the opportunity to break bread with various Ranch volunteers and other Heifer co-workers. It wasn't just about the food

(although it was a delightful perk!), it was also about the conversation and camaraderie.

The Ranch has these incredible volunteers that come from across the United States and even from other countries (a current volunteer is from Morocco!) and they range from students just out of high school to retirees. There jobs entail so much more than just tending to the agriculture. They also lead the educational programming, care for livestock, maintain facilities and provide operations support.

This was Ish's second time at the Ranch and I asked him what he thought. He said, "From the moment you are at the Ranch and meeting with the volunteers and staff, you can just feel the commitment and the dedication. This is Heifer's mission and vision in action. All of these people are committed to Heifer's inspiring work."

And he's absolutely right. What matters to these people is the ability to serve and work towards Heifer's mission of ending hunger and poverty while caring for the earth. They want to see a change, and they recognize that they can help set the wheels in motion. It really is inspiring.

In our conversations, we learned the stories of the volunteers, how they heard about Heifer, what their future plans were and we even had some volunteers share their innovative ideas (I have a whole list!). One volunteer shared with us: "The Ranch changed my life. I feel strongly connected to making sure it continues to be a source of empowerment, knowledge and motivation."

In addition to discussions of ending hunger and poverty, we managed to squeeze in a few games of Foosball. It's one of the rare times you'll see Steve and me on opposite teams. I think I held my own!

It was an early night for us as Steve, Cindy, Bob, Leesa, René, Hilary, and I still had another day of discussions and brainstorming. But a dinner with the volunteers was just what we needed to keep up our momentum and morale.

If you're looking for a way to connect to Heifer's work closer to home, I highly suggest a visit to Heifer's Ranch. For more information, visit Heifer's website.

I thank the wonderful volunteers at the Ranch for a lovely time and I can't wait for my next visit.

Author

Pierre Ferrari

Pierre Ferrari is president and CEO of Heifer International. Pierre is very passionate about empowering the families and communities with whom Heifer works: “It took me decades, but I have come to know that the only way to happiness and joy is to be of service to others.” Pierre’s other joys are his wife, Kim, his two sons and two stepdaughters. In his free time he enjoys golf, squash, reading and travel.

Free Download

You only need to enter this information once to download digital resources.

My Basket
Need Help?

Basket Summary

edit

{{ product.title }} {{ product.subTitle }}

Qty: {{ product.quantity }} @ {{ product.price | currency }} Qty: {{ product.quantity }} @ FREE
{{ (product.quantity * product.price) | currency }} Free
{{ (product.price) | currency }} You've chosen to make this a monthly donation.
Monthly

No products in cart.

Additional Impact {{ processingFee | currency }} Sub-total {{ cartSubTotal | currency }} Shipping Cost {{ orderShippingCost | currency }} NOT YET CALCULATED Tax Cost {{ orderTax | currency }} NOT YET CALCULATED Total {{ cartTotal | currency }}

{{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

edit

Billing Address

{{ billingAddress.first_name }} {{ billingAddress.last_name }} {{ billingAddress.address_1 }} {{ billingAddress.address_2 }} {{ billingAddress.city }}, {{ billingAddress.state }} {{ billingAddress.zip }} {{ billingAddress.country }}

Company

{{ billingAddress.company }}

Shipping Address

{{ shippingAddress.first_name }} {{ shippingAddress.last_name }} {{ shippingAddress.address_1 }} {{ shippingAddress.address_2 }} {{ shippingAddress.city }}, {{ shippingAddress.state }} {{ shippingAddress.zip }} {{ shippingAddress.country }}

Basket Summary

Step 1 of 2 Step 1 of 3 All major credit cards and Paypal accepted

Get your free Honor Cards after checkout.
Your basket has been updated.
The following item(s) are now sold-out or unavailable and have been removed from your cart:
-{{ product.title }} {{ product.subTitle}} ({{ product.quantity}})

{{ nag.title }}

{{ nag.description }}

{{ product.title }} {{ product.subTitle }} To: {{ product.giftCardRecipientName }} From: {{ product.giftCardSenderPrint }} Email: {{ product.giftCardRecipientEmail }} Delivery: {{ product.giftCardDeliveryDate }} Message: {{ product.giftCardMessage | truncate '200' }} Delivery: {{ product.additional_info['deliveryDate'] }} Message: {{ product.additional_info['personalMessage'] | truncate '200' }} 1 {{prods["title"]}}

{{ (product.quantity * product.price) | currency }}
You've reached the maximum number of products for this item.
You've reached the maximum number of products for this item.
${{ product.price }}
$ {{ product.price }} Free
Monthly
Remove
SubTotal {{ cartSubTotal | currency }}
It's not a hand out. It's a hand up.

For maximum impact, try adding a few items to your basket.

Browse The Gift Catalog
Secured Checkout

Increase Your Impact with a Donation Visit the Gift Catalog

Make an even bigger impact with a donation from our Gift Catalog

Responsibly-Sourced, Artisan-Friendly Gifts Shop the Marketplace

Shop the Marketplace for responsibly-sourced, artisan-friendly gifts
Secured Checkout
Secured Checkout
Edit Basket Summary

{{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

Step 2 of 2 Step 2 of 3 All major credit cards and Paypal accepted

Get your free Honor Cards after checkout.
Shipping Information

If you have received a gift catalog in the mail please enter the highlighted code that begins with a "D" or a "P" in the source code box below. If you have not received a Heifer Gift Catalog please leave the source code blank.

Shipping Address
Secured Checkout
Secured Checkout
Edit Basket Summary

{{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

Step 2 of 2 Step 2 of 3 All major credit cards and Paypal accepted

Get your free Honor Cards after checkout.
Billing Information
Enter your company name to see if your employer will match your gift.

If you have received a gift catalog in the mail please enter the highlighted code that begins with a "D" or a "P" in the source code box below. If you have not received a Heifer Gift Catalog please leave the source code blank.

Billing Address
Secured Checkout
Secured Checkout
Edit Basket Summary

{{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

Step 2 of 2 Step 2 of 3 All major credit cards and Paypal accepted

Get your free Honor Cards after checkout.
Billing Information
Enter your company name to see if your employer will match your gift.

If you have received a gift catalog in the mail please enter the highlighted code that begins with a "D" or a "P" in the source code box below. If you have not received a Heifer Gift Catalog please leave the source code blank.

Billing Address
Shipping Information

If you have received a gift catalog in the mail please enter the highlighted code that begins with a "D" or a "P" in the source code box below. If you have not received a Heifer Gift Catalog please leave the source code blank.

Shipping Address
Secured Checkout
Secured Checkout
Edit Basket Summary Edit {{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

Payment Information

Step 3 of 3 All major credit cards and Paypal accepted

Get your free Honor Cards after checkout.

Payment Summary

Additional Impact {{ processingFee | currency }} Sub-total {{ cartSubTotal | currency }} Shipping Cost {{ orderShippingCost | currency }} NOT YET CALCULATED Tax Cost {{ orderTax | currency }} NOT YET CALCULATED Total {{ cartTotal | currency }}

Pay By Credit Card
Pay with PayPal logo
Pay with
We were not able to process your request. Please try again or contact Donor Services at 855.9HUNGER (855.948.6437).
Secured Checkout