Throughout his life, Dan West maintained a deep commitment to helping the poor, hungry and those in the margin of the world. His vision still guides this organization and speaks to the simplest, and most basic principle of charity - helping people to help themselves. In his honor, Heifer International Foundation has established the Dan West Fellow Award to honor those who have given of themselves to help the less fortunate of the world.
Each year, The Foundation's Trustee Emeriti choose one outstanding leader to be recognized as a Dan West Fellow. It is my honor to announce that the 2003 Dan West Fellow Award winners are Willard and Ursula Bartel. Ursula humbly accepted the award in honor of her late husband Willard.
Willard and Ursula have been true models of what a supporter for Heifer should be. Willard and Ursula had a dairy in El Monte, California before they relocated their operation to Ontario, California. They raised lots of heifers, and became involved in Heifer International through their Methodist Church in the 1970's. Willard even offered his facilities for a staging area to gather heifers for shipments to Mexico and Korea. Enthusiastic about the project, Willard enlisted the help of other dairies in the area in raising heifers for shipments. He and Ursula made several trips abroad to visit projects.
Willard served as one of the original trustees of Heifer Foundation and for many years was also the southwest regional representative on the Heifer Board of Directors and regional chairperson of various Heifer capital campaigns. Ursula then continued Willard's work at Heifer Foundation serving as a Trustee and now serves as a Trustee Emeritus. Willard and Ursula gave the funds for the Lucy West Ruple Lodge at the Heifer Ranch and underwrote the cost of the Bartel Lodge. Willard's and Ursula's lives have exemplified the story of Dan West in so many ways. Their unselfish love for those in poverty and suffering has been demonstrated by giving so many "a gift of life" to achieve self-sufficiency. Their commitment is an inspiration to all who have known them.
In honor of Willard and Ursula, $1,000 will be added to the Dan West Education Endowment, which is used to educate the public about the root causes of hunger and poverty. To be named a Dan West Fellow is to be recognized for contributing to a better world through humanitarian efforts.