Staff and Faculty Help Stop World Hunger through Heifer International


Health Programs donate to Heifer International to fight world hunger

Faculty and staff members in the Dental Assistant, Medical Assistant, Nursing Assistant/Home Health Aide, and Practical Nursing programs at Dakota County Technical College pooled their resources and bought a goat as a donation to Heifer International, a charitable organization dedicated to ending hunger and poverty worldwide.

“During holiday seasons in the past, we exchanged gifts,” said Roline Bravo, an administrative assistant in health careers. “This year we decided to reach out to people who really need our help.”

Bravo coordinated the gifting process, collecting donations from program members. She credits Ron Erickson, DCTC vice president of academic and student affairs, as the one who first suggested the idea of donating livestock through Heifer International.

“We really like the idea of giving a living farm animal as a means to relieve hunger,” said Bravo. “Heifer International has a ‘pass on the gift’ strategy that obliges people to share the offspring of their animals with other members of their community. Our goat really is a gift that keeps on giving.”

Founded in 1944, Heifer International establishes conditions that encourage optimism and self-reliance by giving families renewable food sources in contrast to providing short-term relief. Millions of families in nearly 130 countries are prospering thanks to the pioneering efforts of this highly regarded charitable organization.

“People can give other animals besides goats,” Bravo said. “Heifer International’s gift catalog includes water buffaloes, pigs, llamas, geese, chickens, ducks, rabbits, honeybees, and, of course, heifers.

Giving is a core attribute of students wishing to pursue careers in the healthcare industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare is the largest industry in the U.S., providing nearly 14 million jobs. Of the top 20 fastest-growing jobs in America, eight are in health careers with a projected increase of 3.6 million new jobs by the year 2014.

Graduates of DCTC’s Health and Human Services programs are thoroughly prepared to enter a vibrant job market. The demand for home health aides and medical assistants is expected to soar in the coming years, rising 56 percent and 52 percent respectively. Nursing assistants also top the list of high-demand occupations.

Dentists are anticipating more and more patients due to population growth, better retention of natural teeth, and enhanced public awareness of proper dental hygiene.Dental assistants will be needed to support the increased workload.

Licensed practical nurses are a vital part of the healthcare industry. According to, the median annual income for an LPN in the U.S. is $37,471. Many LPNs go on to become registered nurses by enrolling in an LPN-to-RN training program.