Heifer Ranch - Tornado Damage

Posted by Heifer Sonoma/Napa On Tuesday, April 26, 2011 0 comments
Heifer Ranch sustained significant damage in the strong storms that moved through the state Monday night.

Several buildings, including the horse, dairy and lambing barns, were destroyed, as well as a pump house and yurts, felt-covered dwelling native to Central Asia, in the Ranch’s Global Village section. Several roofs were damaged, including the main conference center, an office building and a vacant residential facility. Heifer employees and volunteers are working to clear many downed trees and to cover exposed structures with tarpaulins.

All Heifer Ranch employees, residents, volunteers are safe and guests who were participating in activities at the Ranch have returned to their homes.  

The Ranch will be closed to the public for the remainder of the week, and Heifer Ranch staff will contact groups affected by this closure. We will continue to provide updates as they become available.
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Posted by Heifer Sonoma/Napa On Monday, April 25, 2011 0 comments
This Spring, we continue to celebrate the women Heifer works with and the donors who help provide the resources for these women to come out of poverty. These WiLD (Women in Livestock Development) women are quite an inspiration. Take, for example, Phy Phol from Camodia.
Phy Phol is a courageous mother of five and a shining example of a WiLD woman. Before Phol started working with Heifer, her family was one of the poorest in the village. She worked as a laborer to make ends meet, but it was never enough.

Many nights, Phol had to put her children to bed hungry.

When Heifer started a project in her village a few years ago, Phol's life began to turn a corner. Soon she saved enough money to purchase an ox to help plow land, reducing the cost and time of rice production. She grew a flock of five chickens to more than 60 to further boost her monthly income. Then, with simple techniques learned from training, Phol started raising healthy pigs.

With increased income from her farm, she has bought more land. More important, she now is able to not only feed her children, but also invest in their education so they can have a future of limitless possibility.
Phol's life circumstances were enhanced by Heifer's work, but the successes she's achieved come from a place deep within her. Long before Heifer came along, Phol demonstrated daily courage, fortitude and dedication to her family. That is the WiLD spirit!

When Heifer works with women's groups, we often find strong women like Phol, who demonstrate intense bravery in the midst of challenging circumstances. And, when given the opportunity, these women create unimaginable change in the world.
This Spring, we offer you the chance to exclusively support WiLD projects around the world. We all know someone who demonstrates strength like Phy Phol's. Celebrate that special person by making them an honorary WiLD woman. It's a way we can all celebrate the spirit that ties us together and makes the world a better place.
Supporting WiLD dreams together,
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Images of a Magic Barn Dance

Posted by Heifer Sonoma/Napa On Wednesday, April 20, 2011 0 comments
Maybe all barn dances are magic. To tell you the truth, this is the only one I've ever attended! But, somehow a barn dance lives in my hard wiring. Perhaps, all of the westerns I watched as a kid; maybe because my relatives are Okies - a name I use with pride. My mother came from a family of women. Her father died when she was just 10 years old. Her mother and four sisters supported themselves on a subsistence (not sustainable!) farm/ranch in a place called Moyers, Oklahoma. You can take the Okie out of Oklahoma but you can't take her out of the barn, or something like that. I was born in California and raised in Hawaii but somehow the barn dance spoke to something deep.
The (excuse the much over used expression) "sense of community" was strong. I am so impressed with how the community of volunteers pulled this together and how the larger Heifer-community-supporters came and danced their asses off! We had the thought before hand that we would have to encourage folks to dance. No. It was wonderful!! It was fun!

Green String Farm and the interns were amazing! We are thinking this dance was the "First Annual Heifer International Sonoma County Barn Dance". The first of many!

I need events like this to keep-on-keeping-on. They work like a vitamin pill; an antidote for what seems at times to be a world of trouble. The world is also full of amazing people, many of them connected to Heifer International.

The magic begins as the volunteers arrive in a steady flow until the event's official opening time......5pm. The interns from Green String Farm hung the overhead globes and the brave Heifer volunteers climb to string Holiday lights.

In other areas around the space busy workers do their jobs. It was like an ant colony or something! Everyone seemed to know what they were doing (or at least gave a good imitation) and it came together beautifully.

I come in peace, little cow.

That is a young miniature cow (the one on four legs). The want-to-be cow is Caroline Bonnet, the only one of us brave enough to wear the cow suit... or maybe she's fulfilling some sort of inner need.

Five pm! Let the fun begin!
I'd like to donate to Heifer International....

Pre-dance pep talk.

Garret and Mary...best dressed!

Isaac Egge awards runner up for best dressed.

A brief history of a Sea-going Cowboy

Don Emmel, one of the original Sea-going Cowboys!


Chili-stirrers extordinaire.


You put your left foot in....not...way better than that.

Music and movement....yeah!

My left or yours?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FQ5QF2O_oE  (Contra Dance)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xj5tWvqfTBM   (Line Dance)
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Barn Dance A Great Success!

Posted by Heifer Sonoma/Napa On Tuesday, April 12, 2011 0 comments
The barn dance was successful and fun! I was encouraged and impressed by how everyone transformed the barn into such a beautiful space and created a great party! My faith in humanity is again restored by the group that put in so much effort to pull this off and by the great people who attended.
The barn looked wonderful after everything was in place: lights strung, paintings hung, pots of chili bubbling over big burners, beer flowing, wine pouring, slide-show glowing, tables covered with pretty cloths overflowing with good food. Other tables staffed with intelligent and friendly people, musicians tuned.....it was a beautiful thing to see everyone dancing and having a good time!
I heard that the folks at Green String Farm want us to do it again next year.
I'll post some pictures later this week. I'm playing catch-up with the rest of my life.
Thank you so much! I am humbled by what wonderful people are attracted to Heifer International and grateful for the opportunity to work with all of you.
Our next meeting will be in Napa (First United Methodist Church Napa Address: 625 Randolph Street), on May 14th at 10am to 12pm.
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