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Father's Day Giving and Receiving - 17 June 2014

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Tuesday 17th June 2014.
Sarah Mikesell - TheCropSite Senior Editor

Sarah Mikesell
Senior Editor



Father's Day Giving and Receiving

Greetings from warm and sunny Chicago! I'm back from 12 days in England visiting sister company FAI Farms in Oxford and our 5m home office in Sheffield. It's so great to be home, but I'll admit that I am having tea withdrawal issues. And eventually I will learn that I don't have to say "hot" tea when I'm ordering (you can't really get iced tea in England.)   

Sunday was Father’s Day in the US (and elsewhere), and we decided against the usual Outback gift card and gourmet cookies. This year, we donated to Heifer International, purchasing a flock of chicks and honeybees for a family in need in honor of my awesome father-in-law Paul McCummins - Master Griller, Mr. Fix It and Superman all rolled into one!

The flock of chicks gift donation provides a family with a starter flock of 10 to 50 chicks, along with chicken raising training. Each flock of chicks:

  • Provides eggs and protein for nourishment
  • Boosts income through sales of extra eggs and offspring
  • Ensures security for generations through Passing on the Gift

Chickens require little space and can thrive on readily available scraps, allowing families to make money from the birds without spending much. And since a good hen can lay up to 200 eggs a year, the flock provides a steady source of nutrition and income.

A Heifer honeybee gift donation includes a bee package, hive, box and training in beekeeping techniques. Sometimes it's the smallest gifts that make the largest impact. Healthy beehives can double fruit and vegetable yields of small farms. When you buy bees for a family in need, your gift:

  • Boosts income through sales of honey, wax and pollen
  • Stimulates growth of the family’s crops through pollination

If you aren’t familiar with Heifer International – their mission is to work with communities to end world hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth.

Some 70 years ago, American farmer Dan West went to the front lines of the Spanish Civil War as an aid worker. His mission was to provide relief, but he soon discovered a single cup of milk rationed to refugees was not enough. He wondered, “What if they had not a cup, but a cow?”

Heifer empowers families to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity – but their approach is more than just giving a handout. Heifer links communities and helps bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty. Their animals provide both food and a reliable income, as products such as milk, eggs and honey can be traded or sold at market.

My 2 cents... I’ve heard so many say that aid programs just don’t work – meaning handing out food to poor people doesn’t solve their problems; it just keeps them dependent. However, the Heifer International philosophy of “teach a man to fish” has proven it can change lives and rebuild communities.

One more Father’s Day note… As we were driving to take my hubby Patrick to lunch to celebrate Father’s Day, my son informed us that he was going to bestow knowledge as part of his “gift” to Dad, by reading from his National Geographic Weird by True book. So I shall share some of the wisdom he imparted on dear old Dad.

  • In Japan, it’s possible to buy watermelons shaped like pyramids.
  • Peanut butter can be converted into a diamond.
  • Applesauce was the first food eaten in space by an American astronaut.
  • Almost 90% of snow is air.
  • Honey never spoils.
  • New York drifts about an inch (2.5 cm) farther from London every year.
  • New Zealand has more sheep than people.
  • Strawberries have more Vitamin C than oranges.
  • A battery can be made out of a potato (4th grade science fair project!)

Happy Belated Father’s Day to all our Dad’s out there!

Find me on Twitter @SarahMikesell

Have a great week!


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