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Heifer to celebrate birthday

By Jennifer Nixon

This article was published March 20, 2014 at 2:59 a.m.


Rabbits and other animals from Heifer Ranch will make a special appearance at Beyond Hunger: Communities of Change, Heifer International’s 70th birthday celebration. Programs are designed to help children and families learn more about Heifer’s mission.

In some ways, it’s a typical, traditional birthday party. There will be crafts. There will be animals to meet and pet.

But this is no normal birthday and the achievements it’s celebrating are no small feat.

For 70 years, Heifer International has battled world hunger and poverty by providing people in impoverished areas with training, tools and livestock to help their families and communities.

They want to honor the mission and the decades of work, and what better way to do that than with a party?

“It’ll be a really fun day, a great way to learn more about Heifer,” says Global Education Manager Lori Ducey. “But we really want to celebrate people’s commitment and the work they’ve done with Heifer to help families around the world.”

To that end, Beyond Hunger: Communities of Change events will take place across the country throughout the year, with the Little Rock party set for 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at Heifer Village, the organization headquarters at 1 World Ave. Admission is free.

At 2 p.m., Perry Jones, executive director and social entrepreneur for the Seeds of Change program, will speak about Heifer’s work in the United States. But aside from the speech and despite the lofty-sounding title, this is a down-to-earth, hands-on celebration.

“It’s a very fun, interactive, family friendly day,” Ducey says. “It’s free to come and enjoy some activities with your family as you learn about how you can make a difference in the world, especially in your own community where you live.”

Some activities will center on Heifer Village’s new temporary art exhibit, “Heifer Relief: Compass, Ark, Berth.” The exhibit tells the story of the “Seagoing Cowboys,” men and women who, in the early days of Heifer International, traveled on ships to take care of the animals en route to their new homes. The exhibit remains on display until June.

Also, the United Nations has designated 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming, and since Heifer International’s mission is intricately linked with small scale farms, they’re weaving that into the celebration with a farmer photo booth where families can pose in front of a farm backdrop. Shovels, rakesand other farm tools will be provided, but costumes are optional. Children can also do small seed plantings they’ll be able to take home.

Activities are geared toward teaching children about the work Heifer does, discovering, for instance, how cows help families around the world. They’ll be given the chance to sew felt money pouches as they hear about the income animals can provide.

And, of course, the animal ambassadors (sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits) will travel from the Heifer Ranch in Perryville for a little meeting and greeting.

Ducey says, “We go rain or shine. It doesn’t matter if the weather decides to snow, we’ll still be here. Snow or shine, we’ll have a great day.”

For more information, call (501) 907-2697 or visit

Weekend, Pages 36 on 03/20/2014

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