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Frequently Asked Questions

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What is Heifer Farm?

Heifer Farm is one of Heifer International’s Learning Centers that help rural communities lift themselves out of poverty through farming.   At this educational farm in Rutland, Massachusetts, visitors take part in hands-on, interactive programs and activities promoting sustainable solutions to global hunger, poverty and environmental degradation.

 Heifer Farm offers overnight programs, field trips, day camp and public events for youth and adults.  The farm is 270 acres, which includes 2 acres of organic gardens, 30 acres of pasture managed by intensive rotational grazing, 200 acres of woodlands, and a Global Village.

How do I register for a program?

Check out the farm’s Overnight Programs and Day Programs!  Contact reservations@heifer.org with questions and when you are ready to register.  The programs can be tailored to meet your group’s unique learning objectives and curriculum.

Can I visit without registering for program?

Yes, you can and here are three great ways!

  • Attend the daily Tour and Chores program at 3:00 pm; no pre-registration is required.  This hands-on program is for all ages and costs $10/person; kids 2 & under are free.
  • Visit the Heifer Farm Visitor Center, Gift Shop and Farm Café that is open daily from 9:00 am-5:00 pm, except major holidays.  The Gift Shop offers fairly-traded goods from around the world, Heifer merchandise, as well as drinks, snacks and soup!
  • Come to one of the Festivals and Events!

Is there a place to eat lunch on the farm?

Yes, there are drinks, snacks and soup for sale in the Gift Shop. Outdoor picnic tables are available first-come, first-served. For guaranteed space and protection from the weather, you may rent the covered picnic pavilion or heated, indoor dining hall by contacting reservations@heifer.org.

Is there a place to stay on the farm?

We offer dormitory-style bunkrooms and cabins for lodging with limited availability.  There are a variety of lodging options in the area if you are coming from a distance. Please contact reservations@heifer.org for more information.

What will I see if I don’t participate in a program?

Heifer Farm’s livestock barns, gardens, gift shop, café and picnic area are open daily for visitors with no admission.  Drop-in visitors enjoy seeing the animals, having a picnic lunch, and letting their children frolic on the scenic overlook.  The farm has a large number of registered program participants and therefore the Global Village may be occasionally unavailable to unregistered drop-in guests.  Please sign in at the Visitor Center to find out if the Global Village is open for exploration and, to find out before you arrive, call the Visitor’s Center after 9:00 am at (508) 886-5000.

What animals are at Heifer Farm?

Heifer Farm has goats, sheep, pigs, cows, llama, alpacas, yak, guinea pigs, rabbits, chickens, and honeybees.   The baby goats and sheep are typically born in early April, which makes April and May visits especially fun!

What is the Global Village?

The Global Village is a series of eight international homesteads that depict the similarities and differences between limited-resource homes from global communities where Heifer has worked.  Each site illustrates the unique relationship between people, land and livestock specific to a particular culture and region of the world.  The goal of the Global Village is to share a brief immersion experience with visitors in order to increase their awareness of the realities of life for much of the world. Check out Heifer Farm's Global Village!

Do you ship the animals from Heifer Farm?

The animals at Heifer Farm are not shipped.   They are here to help support Heifer and the farm’s educational programs.  Most of this 270-acre property was donated to Heifer by the Williams family in 1984.  The farm originally served as a livestock holding and shipping center from which animals were sent to communities around the world.  However, animals given to Heifer’s project partners are now purchased in the countries in which they are used.  This reduces costs, utilizes animals best adapted to the host environment and contributes to the local economies.  The farm now serves as an educational center that trains farmers and informs the visitors about Heifer’s development model and work around the world through field trips, overnight programming, day camps and public events.

What is the mission of Heifer International?

Heifer International's mission is to work with communities to end world hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth. Learn more about Heifer!

When and how did Heifer International get started?

Dan West was a religious educator who did relief work in Spain during the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930’s. Upon his return to the US, he began persuading members of his community to donate pregnant heifers to be sent to Spain to provide milk to hungry children. In 1944, the first shipment of heifers was sent to Puerto Rico. They weren’t sent to Spain due to the instability caused by World War II.  Gradually more and more animals, not only heifers, were given to project partners in many different countries.  Learn more about the history of Heifer!

What is a heifer?

A heifer is a young female cow that has not borne a calf.  Males are called bulls or steers, and cattle is the word for both females & males.

Does Heifer International just give heifers?

No.  When Heifer International first began only heifers were donated and thus the organization’s name.   For many years now Heifer International has given all kinds of livestock depending on what is most appropriate in different countries and communities – goats, chickens, bees, rabbits, pigs, etc. Learn more about all the animals you can give!

Where does Heifer International work?

Heifer International has projects around the world, including in the United States. Learn more about where Heifer is working!

How can I get involved?

You help support Heifer by fundraising, volunteering or telling others about Heifer on social media.  Learn more about getting involved!

How can I get Heifer Farm news and updates?

Visit and like the Heifer Farm Facebook page!

 

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216 Wachusett Street
Rutland, MA 01543

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