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Pierre Ferrari
Pierre Ferrari is the President and CEO of Heifer International. In his tenure at Heifer International, Ferrari has implemented three important strategies, the most ambitious of which is significant expansion of Heifer’s projects in developing countries. In an effort to feed more hungry people around the globe, Heifer intends to increase the size of its programs by an order of magnitude, focusing on the areas with the most need. Doing so, Ferrari says, will not just bring more families into self-sufficiency; it will also increase Heifer’s efficiency and effectiveness, and demonstrate the power of Heifer’s model to the rest of the development sector. It will also help fulfill the true destiny of the smallholder farmer -- to feed the world.

Prior to working at Heifer International he worked for Coca-Cola Co. in marketing and currently serves on the board of Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream Inc.

You can follow him on twitter @heiferceo

Entries by Pierre Ferrari

Quit Treating Soil Like Dirt

(0) Comments | Posted December 5, 2015 | 10:38 AM

Of all the things on your mind right now, I suspect dirt isn't one of them.

Photo courtesy of Heifer International.

I get it. We're all busy; many of us especially so this time of year.

But it's really important. In...

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Evaluations Help Us Deliver on Our Promises

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2015 | 11:00 AM

2015-11-24-1448380727-2967908-23001487641_7f49c78a3b_k.jpg We must uphold our promises to families, and to children like Nguyen Ngoc Kim Nguyen of Viet Nam, who sits doing her homework. Photo courtesy of Heifer International.

It may have escaped your notice, but 2015 was declared by the United Nations and...

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Philanthropy: A Team Sport

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2015 | 11:42 AM

Philanthropy is a team sport. One would be hard pressed to find a single humanitarian organization with the ability do everything it could dream of all by itself. The many resources needed are frankly too precious and scarce: cash, infrastructure, contacts, experience and time, naming only a few. Understandably, much...

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Exciting Poverty News, But Gap Still Remains

(0) Comments | Posted October 6, 2015 | 2:16 PM

You may have heard the exciting news: extreme poverty is down by 65 percent, and the World Bank expects global extreme poverty to fall below 10 percent this year.

In Agusan del Sur province, Philippines, Napoleon Apolinario plows part...

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Paving the Road to End Poverty Everywhere

(2) Comments | Posted September 1, 2015 | 10:39 AM

Can you imagine a world truly free from poverty? What would the roadmap to get there look like?

The soon-to-be-accepted Sustainable Development Goals aim to pave this road, beginning with Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere. I like an ambitious goal, and this is...

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Measuring Success to Meet the INGO Mission

(0) Comments | Posted July 7, 2015 | 2:37 PM


There seems to be a common misconception about nonprofit organizations: we fear data, innovation and the success of other organizations. While I cannot speak for other organizations, I can attest that is not the case at Heifer International.

Data as an organizational...

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Pope Francis Encyclical: We Are in it Together to Save Our Planet

(1) Comments | Posted June 19, 2015 | 3:23 PM

Photo by Jake Lyell, courtesy of Heifer International.

Not even halfway over, 2015 has already been a year of remarkable ambition. This week, I am encouraged by the words of Pope Francis in his encyclical, "Laudato Si."

In it, Pope...

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10 Things to Consider for the Future of a Hungry Planet

(11) Comments | Posted May 11, 2015 | 9:06 AM

Our global population is expected to grow by around 83 million people a year over the next 10 years. We have to figure out how to feed ourselves while repairing our environment and enabling strong communities. Here are 10 things we must keep in mind when discussing ending...

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Living #BelowtheLine Again

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2015 | 2:48 PM

People have asked me why I'm taking the Live Below the Line challenge again. Yes, it was a struggle to plan, shop, cook and eat on $1.50 per day for five days last year. I'm thankful I don't have to do that every day, and it's humbling to...

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To Nepal, With Love from Haiti

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2015 | 12:38 PM

Heifer International works with more than 50,000 farming families in districts impacted by the earthquake in Nepal on Saturday, April 25, including Dhading, Nuwakot, Chitwan, Nawalparasi, Lamjung, Parbat, Baglung, Palpa, Kaski, Sinduli, Sarlahi and Tanahu.

Below, Heifer International Haiti sends a message of hope to Nepal following...

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If You Could Imagine a Better World, What Would it Look Like?

(0) Comments | Posted January 15, 2015 | 10:42 AM

For me, it's a world where no one goes hungry and everyone has the means to provide for themselves and their families. It's a world where we can be confident the environment will be clean and healthy for future generations.

2015 has the potential to be a landmark year for humanity, if we do it right. In September, the UN Special Summit on Sustainable Development will determine what replaces the Millennium Development Goals. The UN Climate talks in Paris in December could help chart the course for halting man-made climate change.

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Malala Fund co-founder Malala Yousafzai said:

People globally want an end to injustice, poverty and illiteracy. Our world is interconnected and youth are ready and mobilized more than ever to see real change take place. Together, we are demanding our leaders take action in 2015 and we must all do our part. I will continue to work tirelessly to call on world leaders to seize this opportunity to guarantee a free, quality primary and secondary education for every child. That is my goal and I hope that my voice will be heard as it is the voice of millions of children who want to go to school.

Today marks the official launch of action/2015, a campaign calling on local and world leaders to make ambitious commitments to eradicate poverty, address inequality and stop man-made climate change.

Speaking for action/2015, Amitabh Behar, Indian anti-poverty activist said:

If we get this wrong, we could see the number of people living in poverty increase for the first time in our generation. But if we get it right -- tackle poverty, inequality and climate change -- we could eradicate extreme poverty within a generation. With two summits of this importance within just months of each other, 2015 could be one of the most important years for our planet since the end of the Second World War, but only if we rise to the occasion.

This is a big year for Heifer International, too. We have charged ourselves with our own ambitious goal: to end the hunger and poverty of 4 million families by 2020.

When we say ending hunger and poverty, we are literally talking about families moving all the way into self-reliance and prosperity, not simply the number of families who will have participated in our programs. By 2020, 4 million families will achieve a level of income that allows them to educate their children (including the girls); feed themselves adequately across every month of the year; and have proper housing, water, hygiene, etc. They will primarily pay for all of these things with a reasonable amount of income, meaning a living income.

But we won't succeed alone, or in a vacuum. Work like ours requires collaboration and enabling environments. We are only part of the solution. That's why this year's commitments from world leaders are critical. They must make bold, ambitious goals and be held accountable for them. That's what action/2015 is all about.

I am excited about Heifer International's participation in action/2015, and I look forward to seeing how this year unfolds.

This post originally appeared on Heifer International's World Ark Blog.

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Bathrooms: A Necessity Denied to Too Many

(0) Comments | Posted November 18, 2014 | 12:43 PM

I'd like to introduce Norm Doll, a consulting engineer and adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Doll also sits on the Heifer International Board of Directors as Chair of the Heifer Foundation, the global partner whose mission is...

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World Food Day: Let's Not Leave Smallholder Farmers Poor

(0) Comments | Posted October 16, 2014 | 1:36 PM

For 70 years, Heifer International has been putting the power to produce more food into the hands of smallholder farmers. Heifer founder Dan West's observation--that poor families needed cows, not cups of milk --paved the way for our organization to serve more than 20.7 million families.

We want...

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Where's the B-12? Include Animal-Based Foods in the Global Malnutrition Agenda

(1) Comments | Posted August 8, 2014 | 4:26 PM

August 18 marks the 500-day countdown to the deadline for achieving the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals, so we should expect to see increased discourse on where the gaps lie.

Development experts are beginning to take note that, although progress has been made in reducing...

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World Environment Day 2014: Are You Paying Attention?

(0) Comments | Posted June 4, 2014 | 8:01 PM

Today is World Environment Day, and if you're not scared about climate change yet, you are definitely not paying close enough attention.

Flor talks about raising crops with little access to water. Photo by Dave Anderson, courtesy of Heifer International.

It's going...

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Reflecting on What it's Like to Live #BelowtheLine

(0) Comments | Posted May 2, 2014 | 6:24 PM

Reflecting on my Live Below the Line experience has been as interesting as the practice, shopping and challenge itself. I realized quickly that I eat too much. I like variety, which is not the problem: it's the quantity. I have the leftover habit from...

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Shopping to Live #BelowtheLine

(0) Comments | Posted April 28, 2014 | 11:39 AM

Live Below the Line is an awareness and fundraising campaign challenging people to eat and drink on only $1.50 a day for five days (April 28-May 2). Participants can turn awareness-raising into fundraising for a Live Below the Line charity partner organization of their choice. I am proud...

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Women Farmers Will Save Us

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2014 | 6:07 PM

This post originally appeared on Heifer International's World Ark Blog.


Women farmers: The backbone of smallholder agriculture. They grow 60-80 percent of the food in developing countries yet own less than one percent of the Earth's land. Despite making up...

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I Found Social Justice in Puerto Rican Village

(0) Comments | Posted February 20, 2014 | 11:34 PM

Since 2007, the United Nations has recognized Feb. 20 as the World Day of Social Justice. They identify social justice as a major underlying principle for peace and prosperity. Last month I traveled to Castañer, Puerto Rico and I witnessed the validity of this belief.

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Ending Poverty for Good: The Secret's in the Sauce

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2014 | 9:41 PM

When you're at the helm of an organization fighting hunger and poverty for 70 years, it's easy to get excited when you see "poverty" as a topic in mainstream media channels. Between Pope Francis's outspoken position on global poverty (it's a scandal), the 50th anniversary of...

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