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Daniel West was a teacher and principal in Ohio and Indiana public schools for 10 years following graduation from Manchester College in 1917. He then became national director of youth work in the Church of the Brethren. In this capacity he was noted for his successful work with young people in camp and discussion settings. West’s noncombatant service in the US Army (1917-1918) intensified his peace convictions; he was responsible for Brethren peace education, 1938-1959. During 1936 he visited college campuses for the Emergency Peace Campaign and in 1937 was called by the American Friends Service Committee to administer relief in Spain during the Civil War. It was there that West envisioned the program for which he is best known—the Heifer Project, designed to send young cows to stricken areas; recipients agreed to "pass on the gift" by donating offspring of these animals to others in need. Still attracting Mennonite support in the 1980s, the interfaith agency Heifer Project Inc. has sent thousands of animals to more than 100 countries.


Bowman, Rufus D. Church of the Brethren and War, 1708-1941. Elgin, IL: Brethren Publishing House, 1944.

Messenger [Christian Brethren] (15 October 1971): 12-16, 26.

Morse, Kenneth I. Brethren Encyclopedia. 1983: 1330-32. Also in Biographical Dictionary of Modern Peace Leaders. Editor: Harold Josephson. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1985: 1013-14.

Sappington, Roger E. Brethren Social Policy. Elgin, IL: Brethren Press, 1961.

Yoder, Glee. Passing on the Gift. Elgin, Brethren Press, 1978. A biography.

Author(s) Donald F Durnbaugh
Date Published 1989

Cite This Article

MLA style

Durnbaugh, Donald F. "West, Daniel, (1893-1971)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1989. Web. 27 Apr 2017.,_Daniel,_(1893-1971)&oldid=78758.

APA style

Durnbaugh, Donald F. (1989). West, Daniel, (1893-1971). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 27 April 2017, from,_Daniel,_(1893-1971)&oldid=78758.

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Kitchener, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 927. All rights reserved.

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