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.
The youth from Mt Carmel Church of the Brethren in Scottville, NC painted this in support of Heifer after studying about the organization and raising $1200.00!! (Photo posted by Tara Temple Hanson)
There have been a number of attempts to snap the Curse of the Billy Goat that supposedly afflicts the Chicago Cubs, but this one might be the best, if only because it’s for a pretty good cause. Heifer International, a charity that looks to end world hunger by handing out livestock along with agricultural training to those in need, is running an “End the Curse” goat drive. Please click the title of the story to read more!
My Little Ones Creating Paintings for Heifer! Photos Submitted by Serena G.
The event featured international crafts and games, live music, delicious food and, of course, farm animals. Photos by Joyce Roberts - http://www.thelandmark.com/news/2016-10-06/Rutland_News/Heifer_hosts_Global_Harvest_Festival.html
Since 1944, communities, churches, families, and businesses have carried forward the mission of Heifer International by providing a hand for those in need all over the world. The impact of these generous and caring hearts is beyond our imagination. Click the title of this story to read about the tremendous goal the Overseas Relief Committee in North Carolina set on giving 'A Cow A Month" for 1947!
Walt and Jean Wist shared a beautiful letter about their church's opportunity to Fill the Ark! 60 Campers experienced a week of singing, reading, and learning during Camp Grand Safari,at the end of the week they raised over $5,000 for families and communities in need. To read the full letter, please click on the title of this story!
In September, First Congregational Church of Perry Center, NY introduced Heifer International to their congregation because they wanted to expose their members to a variety of different giving opportunities. On the last Sunday of the month they held a Living Gift Market. They had a special focus on cows because in Wyoming County (where their church is located) there are more cows than people! They served cow shaped cookies and milk for refreshments. They also made custom Christmas tree paper ornaments shown in the picture to people who purchased animals. They raised over $500 and chose to buy a cow. Some donations are still coming in, so hopefully they will be able to purchase some chickens as well! Way to go First Congregational Church of Perry Center, NY! We are so grateful for your support.
Bring the whole family to a fun-filled festival of food and farming this weekend, October 1st & 2nd, at Heifer Farm in Rutland, MA! Celebrate the harvest at home and around the world with their friendly animals and knowledgeable staff.
The Rozell Family stopped in for a tour of the Heifer International Village over the weekend. Please click on the title of this article to see photos and read about their experience at the Village!
As a principal there are several jobs that have to be done that are not found in any job description. Sacred Heart Principal Dr. Gary Manning can certainly attest to that after what he was asked to do for his students on Thursday afternoon. His assignment: to kiss a goat... Please click the title to read the story!