Thousands of visitors pour into Heifer Ranch every year. And for the past 20 plus years, they have all been met at the entrance by Briggs or Stratton: the Heifer Ranch water buffalos. Children and adults alike typically gaze in wonderment at the massive beasts that represent one of Heifer’s largest and most favored animals in our gift catalog.
It is with a heavy heart that I share that earlier this month, Stratton passed away. He was 26-years-old. He was preceded in death by his best friend, brother and Ranch colleague Briggs, who passed away in 2012. Following Briggs’ death, Stratton continued carrying the flag for nearly three more years to entertain and educate visitors every day. Everyone in the Heifer International family—from staff to volunteers—is saddened by the loss.
In projects all over the world, water buffalo just like Briggs and Stratton allow small-scale farmers in Heifer projects to plant four times as many crops, generating income to use for medicine, education and home improvements. And just like Briggs and Stratton, these animals become family members to the farming families they join. Stratton's presence at the Ranch was a reminder of the important role that livestock play in providing hope while ending hunger and poverty worldwide.
So to recognize Briggs and Stratton’s faithful service to Heifer International, you can honor their memory by purchasing your own water buffalo through our gift catalog and pass on the gift of life and hope to a family who needs your help. Briggs and Stratton wouldn’t have it any other way.
Editor’s note: Heifer Ranch is currently exploring the financial feasibility of purchasing new water buffalo to replace Briggs and Stratton in the future. Stay tuned to Heifer’s blog to learn more and watch for your chance to possibly name them by following Heifer on Facebook.