The organization's mission is to end hunger and poverty and care for the earth. Working worldwide with marginalized small-scale farmers, heifer provides livestock, seeds and training in sustainable crop production and animal management practices to increase income and improve nutrition. Focusing also on women's empowerment and social capital, heifer then mobilizes communities of these small-scale farmers into cooperatives and farmer associations to access inclusive market systems.
$63.9m annual program spend • Sustainability: heifer provides gifts of food and income-producing livestock, as well as education and information about their care and feeding, to families and communities in need so that they may become self-reliant and establish sustainable livelihoods and enhanced access to food and income. Heifer works in partnership with local organizations and each family is expected to pass on the gift of livestock and knowledge through the gift of the first female offspring and training to another family in need, multiplying the gift and thus benefiting entire communities.
$23.0m annual program spend • Education: heifer works to educate people of all ages in the united states and elsewhere around the world about the root causes, the contributors to and the challenges of global hunger and poverty, and to teach them how to become part of the solution. Heifer learning centers empower people to learn through experience what it feels like to be poor and hungry and provides programs and lessons that inspire them to take some action toward ending hunger and poverty.
$2.2m annual program spend • Agro-ecology: heifer provides gifts of seeds, grains and trees and teaches farmers and families geographically appropriate and resource-sound agricultural practices that enhance and increase crop productivity and are good for the environment. Heifer works with local organizations to increase farmer's access to markets to improve economic benefit and increase personal gain from what they grow. This allows farmers to enhance food security and sovereignty, increase local food options and availability and provide safe and affordable locally grown foods. Heifer's work is guided in its approach by its 12 cornerstones, including passing on the gift, accountability, sharing and caring, gender and family focus, genuine need and justice and full participation. All contribute to heifer's values-based and holistic approach to giving people a hand up, not a hand out to a better, richer life.