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.
See where Heifer is working around the world to end hunger.
Many thanks to Annie, Georgia, Julia, Sophia, Scarlett, Clare, Jade, and Olympia for hosting their annual Art Sale to help end hunger and poverty! Each Spring, Olympia and her friends support a charity with the proceeds they raise from their art sales and this year, they chose Heifer International! With the funds raised, they were able to purchase Honeybees, a Flock of Ducks, a Water Buffalo, Pig and a Sheep for families in need. Please read Olympia's letter to Heifer by clicking on the title of this story!
Third graders at St. Thomas the Apostle School in West Hartford, CT host a prayer service to support a local food drive and Heifer International!
"Actually, we brought TWO beautiful 10-day-old calves to Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Endicott, NY, to celebrate the kickoff of the beginning of our 5th year of partnership with Heifer International. They were a HUGE hit with young and old. All of the donations from the kids in our Religious Education classes, Grades 1 -5, are contributed to Heifer International. Over the years, that has added up to a almost $10,000, and 145 animals!" ... Please click the title of the story to read more about their awesome fundraiser!
"I was stuck indoors for a week during Hurricane Harvey and not being able to run (first world problems!) and thinking about how developing nations are devastated by natural disasters..." Please click the title of the story to read what inspires Miss Osuan to make a difference around the world!
During the Summer, our church children collected over $500 in coins for a Cow. They did this by taking up an offering from the congregation by using metal cooking pots and only accepting coins. It was called their "Jingle Pan Offering" This was in keeping with the Hebrew bronze funnel that collected the temple offerings, that noted the jingle of many coins from the wealthy, and often scorns of the few "jingles" from the poor.
In Oct. 1950, Pratt & Julia Byrd traveled to Germany with the Heifer Project to transport heifers to families in need while celebrating their Honeymoon in Europe! Please click this photo to read the article written by Mrs. Byrd.
For the 2017 "Build a Better World" summer reading program at the Verona Public Library in Wisconsin, kids who finished their reading log earned a brown sticker, which they placed on either a paper cow or two paper goats to vote for what they thought the library should choose. The Friends of the Verona Public Library donated the funds to purchase the winning animal, a cow!
"On Saturday, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet donated $5,000 to Heifer International. Heifer, in turn, will give animals to families in need to ease hunger and poverty. Heifer provides tools, training, livestock and partnerships that help families live with dignity and opportunity. Here, Sister Mary Anne Rodgers, left, and Sister Diane Zigo, center, present the check to Kate Sheehan, community engagement manager for Heifer Northeast." -Article and photo shared by timesunion.com
Cornerstone Community Church's first Annual Heifer International Mission Project was a success! The children of Cornerstone collected donations for the project for the whole month of June and received a wonderful $1,100. Last year, as part of the East Avenue UMC, the children collected over $5,000 which included a matching donation from a long-time church member. The children were excited to choose the items we were able to send to countries in need, which included a heifer, pigs, and chicks. Cornerstone hopes to collect even more in the years to come.
Each quarter students at Westminster Christian Elementary and Preschool in Miami Florida give money to a "noisy offering" collection to help other in our community and around the world. This collection takes place during our weekly chapel time where students are learning to love God and serve others. The last quarter of the 2016-2017 school year, the students were inspired by the work of Heifer International and how an animal can change a family's life. Each week we collected coins and dollars towards our effort to purchase animals for families in poverty. By the end of the 9 weeks we had raised $5,411.66!!! We are praying for the many families that will be changed by our donation. Thank you Heifer International!
"Dear Read to Feed, I love how you encourage kids to read by bringing money to school and your teacher sends it to you to buy and animal or something else. I think it is like the best idea EVER!! Thank you again!" -Jakey
Decked out in Heifer gear, Kim completed both a 5k & 10k at the Chicago Rock 'n' Roll series earlier this month! After the race Kim shared, "At the expo, Toyota was customizing race shirts by adding a 'I run for...' logo on the sleeves. When I asked for 'I run for Team Heifer,' the person asked what that was. With a line full of people, I got to explain in great detail what Heifer does! All were impressed by the sustainability aspect of it. They loved it wasn't a one-time consumable gift, but rather a lasting one." We congratulate Kim for all of the time she spent training, raising donations to help families overcome poverty, and for sharing Heifer's mission wherever her feet take her! We invite you to click the title of the story to see more photos of Kim in her gear!
Submitted by Sami | Shakopee, MN
Dr. Roger Natzke, former Chairman of the Heifer International Board, recently contacted us regarding his love for the Heifer Project. Over the years, Natzke has had the opportunity to visit Heifer projects in various countries including Rwanda and Nicaragua; to not only share his expertise in Dairy Science, but also to witness how families have lifted themselves out of poverty with the help of Heifer's Hub model. Natzke shares, "I am intimately familiar with the Heifer model designed to alleviate hunger and poverty. Providing poor people, especially women, with an animal gives them a sense of self worth, a means to provide for their family, and finally, a means to support another needy neighbor by passing on the gift." To continue reading about Dr. Natzke's letter and to see more photos, please click the title of the story!
Hallie wants to make a difference in the lives of school-aged girls around the world! To celebrate her Bat Mitvah earlier this year, Hallie decided to Send Girls to School through the Heifer Project. Hallie shared on her Fundraise for Heifer page, "How will I raise all this money, you ask? By dancing, of course! I have been dancing for ten years, give or take a few. So, channeling my talent into giving, I will dance for four consecutive hours. But, obviously just dancing all day won’t raise any money. This is where YOU come into the project. If you sponsor me to dance for four hours, multiple girls in unfortunate circumstances could go to school." With the help of her generous family and friends, she more than doubled her goal of $1,100, with $2,929 as the total! With these gifts, more than 10 girls were given the gift of an education! We invite you to read more about Hallie's project by clicking on the title of this story!
Submitted by Alex | Age 10 | Prescott, AZ
Submitted by Shaylyn | Age 9 | Prescott, AZ
Submitted by Ava J | Milwaukee, WI
4 Holstein Heifers donated to Mennonite Vocational School, South Korea by Heifer Project in 1962 | Left to Right: Paul Hochstetler, Ag. Advisor, Kim Byung Chuc, Farm Manager, & Kim Joh Oak, Herdsman