The Livestock Conservancy’s mission is to protect endangered livestock and poultry breeds from extinction, but how does this translate into the day-to-day activities of the organization?
Since its inception in 1977 (as the American Minor Breeds Conservancy, and later, the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy), The Livestock Conservancy has been a “central hub” for anything having to do with rare breed conservation in the United States. The Livestock Conservancy does research, education, outreach, marketing and promotion, and genetic rescues to help ensure the future of rare breed agriculture. Using this information, the Conservancy publishes America’s list of endangered farm animal breeds, and works to ensure those breeds aren’t lost to extinction.
Livestock Conservancy staff work out of a central office, but they are connected with breeders, members, and partners around the world. The Livestock Conservancy’s central office staff members help to develop projects, produce marketing materials, connect breeders, facilitate research, and more, but it is our in-the-field partners who are doing hands-on conservation that allow us to expand our reach. The Livestock Conservancy staff members also travel around the country to conduct workshops, spread the word about heritage breeds, and assist with research and field-work.
Today, The Livestock Conservancy’s work is more critical than ever and helps to:
- protect our food systems by keeping alternative livestock and poultry genetic resources secure;
- ensure the availability of broad genetic diversity for the continued evolution of agriculture;
- conserve valuable genetic traits such as disease resistance, survival, self-sufficiency, fertility, longevity, foraging ability, maternal instincts;
- preserve our heritage, history, and culture;
- maintain breeds of animals that are well-suited for sustainable, grass-based and organic systems; and
- give small family farms raising heritage breeds a competitive edge.
Learn more about our current projects and past projects by browsing the What We Do section of our website. You’ll have a front-row seat to the exciting world of heritage breed conservation!