Sadie’s Heifer Heritage

Once upon a time, there was a girl who decided that, instead of working retail for the summer, she would spend her time volunteering at a ranch; Heifer Ranch, to be exact. It was the summer before her final year of college. She had visited Heifer Ranch numerous times throughout her youth, and she was excited at the prospect of living and working there. It was a great summer. Friends were made, vegetable patches were weeded, kisses were stolen, potlucks were eaten; and then the summer was over. The girl was in love. With the country life, with the mission of Heifer International, with finally understanding the value of volunteerism.

She went back to school inspired, and planned to return the summer after her graduation.

She did. Old friends were reunited, new friends were made, goats were milked, more kisses were stolen and more potlucks were eaten. When it was time to go on to graduate school, the girl deferred a year–she wasn’t finished with this place.


Once upon about the same time, there was a boy who decided that he was tired of working in restaurants. Having grown up knowing all about Heifer International, he applied to volunteer at Heifer Ranch, an 11-hour drive from his home and family.


On September 11, 2003, the girl was walking up the hill toward the volunteer housing where she lived when a loud, low-to-the-ground VW Jetta came rumbling up. “Doesn’t he think HE’S cool,” she thought.

Unfortunately, the girl had recently had her heart stomped on by a foolish fella, and she had talked herself into leaving the Ranch and moving to Denver where graduate school awaited her the following fall. But maybe it was for the best.

The boy and the girl became fast friends and started spending time together. They bonded one night on a late-night walk after the boy had learned of his grandmother’s death. But it was soon time for the girl to leave. The boy said he’d visit her in Denver one day, but the girl knew it was unlikely. They were, after all, just friends.


The girl packed her bags and bought a one-way ticket to Denver. She boarded the Grayhound for a 24-hour bus ride. Things did not go so well in Denver, however, so she returned home a mere 11 days later. Let’s just say she knows when to fold them.


As the majority of her friends were still volunteering at Heifer Ranch, the girl spent a considerable amount of time there. She and the boy saw a lot of each other. One thing led to another, and on a particularly chilly camping trip, the two fell for each other.


The next year or so was spent volunteering side-by-side at Heifer Ranch, making friends, milking goats, walking water buffalo, stealing kisses, and eating potlucks. They fell solidly in love.


The next couple of years were spent with the girl in graduate school and the boy transitioning from volunteering at Heifer Ranch to working in the Big City.


On January 5, 2007, the girl and the boy were married. Good times were had by all. That summer, the two bought a house, and they filled it to the brim with two dogs and two cats, turning the house into a home.


Convinced they had more love to give, they decided it was time to make a baby. And so they did.


On April 3, 2009, Sadie Diane was born. They fell in love all over again.

Although the girl does not believe in fate or in things “happening for a reason,” she is thankful that Heifer Ranch exists and that both she and the boy were passionate about volunteering. As it turns out, Heifer International is again a part of their lives. When Baby Girl Edwards (formerly known as “the spawn”) was 6 months old, the girl took a job at the international headquarters as a writer. She counts herself extremely lucky that the time she must spend away from her family is spent with awesome people doing awesome work.

5 thoughts on “Sadie’s Heifer Heritage

    1. Brooke Post author

      That, and campfire smell, green hands from staking tomatoes, trips to the watershed and PBR.


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