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Around this time every year, we tell you all about the Heifer animals in our catalog and why they make such great gifts. But this year, we figured you might already know the cool facts about the animals, like how goats can provide up to a ton of milk per year, or that an average chicken can lay around 240 eggs in the same time frame. So we thought we'd take a bit of a different tack and ask some of the staff what their favorite catalog animals are and why. We got some great answers.

Our Web Analytics guru, Chris Hill, gave one of the more creative responses: "I’d go with water buffalo. Like me, it’s a large animal used primarily for its strength. If you were moving, it’s the friend you would call over to help move the couch and pay off with pizza." 

So, for anyone out there undertaking a move this season? Consider the "living tractor" (and some pizza) as a thank-you.  

piglets
Just look at those adorable things

Cindy Jones-Nyland, our chief marketing officer, picked our namesake. "My favorite Heifer animal is the Heifer. There is something special about seeing a Heifer in a project in another corner of the globe and the pride and passion that encompasses the families that have been given the gift of a cow. And to me it is a great representation of our brand.  It represents hope and possibility."

Digital Marketing Editor Jay Jackson went with my favorite: the pig"I really dig pigs, because they’re versatile and kind of cute. When I learned about all the ways pigs help our project participants in the Philippines (and elsewhere) making their gardens more productive, I was amazed. Maybe I’ll get one for a pet!”

They're more than kind of cute, Jay.  

Fellow writer and blogger Molly Fincher went with the road less-traveled. Hers was an extra-sweet pick. "Honeybees, because honey is the best and bees are the ultimate multi-taskers. By helping farmers earn money from honey and also helping farmers grow more crops that are more productive, bees fulfill both parts of Heifer’s mission simultaneously: helping to end poverty and care for the Earth." 

Alpaca with flowers
Dressed to the nines

But the fan favorite was easily the utterly adorable alpaca.

Our PR manager Allison Stephens sent in these lovely four lines of verse (she's a poet and she didn't know it): "They are wooly with a wry smile. They can traverse tough landscapes or stand still for quite a while. Women farmers tend the herd, sheer the fiber, and take it to a mercantile. Most of all, they are a perfect animal for a Peruvian farmer lifestyle."

Jessica Ford, who spent some time in Peru with the animals, said this: "Alpacas!  Because they wear flowers when they show up for Passing on the Gift ceremonies. And they provide the fiber that makes the awesome scarves and hats and blankets that I love. Also, they’re simply our cutest animal."

World Ark managing editor and knitter Austin Bailey summed it up pretty succintly: "My favorite animal is an alpaca because they make the best yarn for knitting."

I hope this helps the few of you out there who are still on the fence about Heifer gifts, or which Heifer gift to give. Just remember, kids, nothing says love like a water buffalo and a pizza. So get on over to the Gift Catalog and get to gifting now. 
  

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