Heifer International supports families in integrated, sustainable livestock and crop farms in order to develop strong local communities. Livestock receive protection from predators, improved feed supplies, appropriate housing and humane slaughter in exchange for the benefits they give to the families of animal source protein, draught labour, materials for clothing and household uses and the valuable manure for composting and crop growth. Heifer International recognizes the need for a long-term approach to development for rural communities. Project communities practice agro-ecologically sound methods of raising animals and crops. Full participation of the community is involved in a project, recognizing the contributions of women, men, girls and boys. In Africa, Asia and Latin America, as many as 95 percent of families receive their livelihoods from agriculture every day. Meat, milk and eggs are not neatly packaged in cardboard or plastic containers, and the role of livestock is not debated. Livestock are essential for draught power; organic fertilizer; a source of nutritional protein; wool, leather and fibres; transportation and they serve as living savings banks. Most livestock are raised on small-scale holistic family farms. The health of people, land, crops, and livestock are integrated into the farm system and all family members are encouraged to participate equally in each Heifer Project.