LillyPad: Elanco and Heifer Partner in China to Fight Hunger

LillyPad: Elanco and Heifer Partner in China to Fight Hunger

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Elanco and Heifer's hunger project in Weichang County will focus on increasing income, diversifying diets, and improving nutrition and health.

Heifer International and Elanco, Lilly’s animal health division, join forces to fight hunger in China.

Friday, May 4, 2012 - 1:00pm

CAMPAIGN: Lilly Global Health Programs


By David Marbaugh

Leaders from the Chinese government, Heifer International, and Elanco – Lilly’s animal health division – have announced a joint effort to fight hunger. More than 1,000 families in Weichang County in Hebei Province in China will receive a beef heifer, along with training to improve cattle shelters and care during the harsh winters. 

Weichang County is one of the poorest in the province, where more than 20 million people live on less than $1 per day. The project will focus on increasing income, diversifying diets, and improving nutrition and health. 

Elanco President Jeff Simmons and his team are passionately committed to fighting hunger. Why? Because looming food scarcity challenges demand that we explore all solutions. Elanco's technology and innovation will be an important part of the answer. 

But above all else, Jeff sees fighting hunger as a moral imperative – for businesses, for governments, for citizens. It's a cause his employees have passionately rallied behind, including new Elanco corporate responsibility associate, Gail Neuwirth, who joined Jeff at the announcement in China on May 2. Here are her reflections:


So here I am in China – my first visit, and Beijing with its population of 20 million is a jarring contrast to Greenfield, Indiana. Yet I am most struck by how much the same we are, by all that we have in common.

When I see an older woman walking along on the arm of her daughter, I see myself walking with my mom.

When I hear our tour guide, Andy, talk about the hardships his parents are facing dealing with the poor health of his grandparents, I think of family and friends who face similar but more manageable situations. 

Sitting in the meeting of the Association of Chinese Social Works (an emergent group of workers in the non-profit sector) I notice how similar it is to the conference on Hunger that I attended in DC early this year - the same topics, the same challenges, and a very similar group of enthusiastic but underpaid young professionals.

When my friend from Elanco China wipes away a tear as he tells us how important it is – this work we're doing to help the lives of the rural people in his country – we are also moved to tears.

We're really just a very big family on a very small planet, trying hard to do the right things.  Everywhere there are hungry and poor who need to be fed.  Elanco, Heifer International, the Lilly Foundation and the Chinese Association of Social Works can each make a real difference. And when we work together, we can teach each other, inspire each other, and amplify that impact.  How cool is that?


The May 2 announcement is part of Elanco's ongoing partnership with Heifer, which now has projects in China, Indonesia, and Zambia – and part of Elanco's global commitment to end hunger for 100,000 families. Read more about the projects here



Learn more about Elanco, Lilly's animal health division, and its social causes, including fighting world hunger, at

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