Persistence Leads to a Better Life


Peng Xianbing, a 49-year-old with the spirit of a teenager, embodies the idea of cleverness and determination to succeed. He lives close to Buddha Cave National Park situated in the beautiful Yinming Community, Dakang Township, Jiangyou City, in northern Sichuan province. Peng Xianbing's wife and family have worked at the park's snack store for a long time. He doesn't like it when other people have to migrate for work, except when tourist season arrives and he can work on his cultivation industry.

In October 2010, Heifer's Earthquake Rehabilitation Project arrived at his home in Yinming village with the building of large animal pens. Upon surveying the rebuilding project, Peng Xianbing's energy and enthusiasm skyrocketed. Through the project he discovered his purpose. Utilizing the training he received from Heifer in duck breeding and farming, he began to build a new source of income for his family. So far, he has raised 1,500 meat ducks.

Unfortunately, despite his effort, joyful spirit and newfound confidence, disease struck his duck flock. He watched with fear as one duck after another died. All day and night he could not sleep; he could only think about saving his ducks. In an attempt to thwart the disease, he separated the healthy ducks from the sick ones and increased the medication. In the end, after a tireless effort to rescue only 700 of his 1,500 ducks, he ended up selling the remaining ducks for a lower-than-average price.

Such a loss in duck rearing is often serious, but it did not deter him. With the support of his family and Heifer, and since he had the space, he began to farm free-range chickens. He Peng Xianbing had some experience with raising chickens. So in 2011, he had about 200 chickens, but the bird flu epidemic decreased his profits and he suffered financial loss again.

However, once more, Peng Xianbing's optimism did not wane. After some careful thought, he decided to begin swine farming. He started in April 2012 by building a 400 square meter barn in a 1 kilometer cove. His efforts and planning paid off when, throughout July and August, due to the hot weather, other farmers' pigs began to die from a high fever. However, due to Peng Xianbing's choice of location and constant attention to the swine, not one of his pigs died. As of today, he has amassed 12 sows and 40 piglets. Last year he sold a good number of them. Eventually he began lowering the prices, which, if he kept a close eye on them, combined with a good production plan, he would catch a good price at the slaughter houses. Because of his success, his biggest wish is to expand the pig farming industry to other farmers to help the community as a whole.

Despite taking serious losses twice in a row, Peng Xianbing never gave up farming. On March 20 he passed twenty of his piglets to Li Congjin, another farmer in the area. When asked whyhe decided to continue farming through all the difficulties, he replied simply that “I not only enjoy it, but want to work at home to earn my living. Also, the values of Heifer inspired me when I first learned them. They planted the seeds of hope and confidence in me.”

So today, thanks to Heifer's initial visit, Peng Xianbing is still farming in his village, helping the whole community pursue a better life.


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