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The Livestock Conservancy

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Husbandry, Animal-Related, Animals, Food

Mission: The Livestock Conservancy was founded in 1977 to conserve rare breeds of cattle, horses, donkeys, sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits, chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys. Today's rare breeds are quite different from the "improved" stocks, which are very productive but require intensive husbandry. The rare breeds retain survival qualities such as disease resistance, foraging efficiency, maternal abilities, and longevity, which make them a perfect fit for organic, grass-based, and humane sustainable agriculture. As well as being useful to farmers today, rare breeds represent the genetic diversity essential for domestic animals to adapt to changing environmental conditions in the future.

Results: Effective conservation has allowed us to ensure survival for every breed on our Conservation Priority List, which now includes over 150 breeds.

Target demographics: save endangered breeds of livestock and poultry from extinction

Direct beneficiaries per year: thousands of small farmers and ranchers

Geographic areas served: North America

Programs: research on breed population size, distribution and genetic health; research on breed characteristics; gene banks to preserve genetic material from endangered breeds; rescues of threatened populations; education about genetic diversity and the role of livestock in sustainable agriculture; and technical support to a network of breeders, breed associations, and farmers.

Community Stories

109 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a researcher in Animal Biodiversity and I am currently working on an application and platform project for Phenotipe Characterization and Management of sheep species to assist in data collection and integration of genetic systems between rural producers, research institutions and government agencies.
I am working on an endemic resource of forest sheep in central Africa, the Blackbelly a very apriciate sheep breed origniated from central africa
I would like to know if it is possible to work with you on this project
Smart Blackbelly Sheep Framing "SBSF" in Central Africa
we already have all the data base on PhD researchs includng geography, technology and social aspect of this Animal resources for tree countries and 8 regions and more than 300 locals breeders and 2 differents Agroecological Zones. the project has already been fully described but we are looking for expertise in the field from you or one of your recommendations for collaboration.

Comments ( 1 )

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KarenaCElliott 03/15/2022

Please email me at kelliott@livestockconservancy.org and I'll connect you with our Programs team. Thanks for your work to save international heritage breeds!

Donor

Rating: 5

I found the Livestock Conservancy through their "Shave 'Em to Save 'Em" (SE2SE) program. As a fiber artist, I really value biodiversity in fiber animals. Since joining SE2SE, I have also become a regular Livestock Conservancy member. With climate change and other forms of human destruction of the natural world, conserving livestock breeds is more important than ever. Many of these breeds are "unimproved" meaning they are generally more adaptive to environmental changes. Saving these breeds may also save us.

The Conservancy is teaching me so much about animals I would never have thought about before. They are also providing avenues for farmers, breeders, etc. to increase their incomes and make saving rare breeds sustainable. They help me find ways to support small scale farmers and shop local, which is a benefit for me, the farmers, and the environment.

I am so pleased with my experience with the Livestock Conservancy. What started out as a fun fiber arts project has turned into so much more: a learning experience among all kinds of livestock animals, a way to think about my consumption, and a lifelong way to enjoy fiber arts while helping sustain the people trying to conserve rare breeds of livestock.

Donor

Rating: 5

I cannot have animals at my house and this is the next best way for me to help preserve genetics of animals whose diversity should not be lost.
I joined after learning through my fiber arts the wonderful qualities and product a shave ‘‘em to save em “ sheep has. I’ve now learned a lot about different unique animals other than sheep. This entity is worthy of your donation and it’s mission is on line with the needs of our planet.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Livestock Conservancy is a great resource for learning about heritage breeds. It has helped guide our decisions about stock selection for our small farm and find breeders who support and promote these rare breeds.

Isabela Castaneda S.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The importance of the Livestock Conservancy in saving heritage livestock and poultry can't be overstated. The organizational knowledge on how to do it is broad and deep. The professionalism and passion with which their staff performs their day-to-day business is amazing. It is, without doubt, a GREAT non-profit!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Currently I'm a board member and Chair, Development Committee of The Livestock Conservancy helping carry out our mission of saving more than 150 rare and endangered breeds of heritage livestock and poultry from extinction. Growing up with Guernsey dairy cows and learning this rich-milk, mild tempered breed was on the endangered list, i became very interested in all heritage animals for their diverse genetics and to ensure they have a growing place on this earth. The Livestock Conservancy is an excellent non-profit organization with strong leaders who are passionate about rare and endangered livestock and poultry.

Advisor

Rating: 5

The Livestock Conservancy is the only comprehensive and inclusive organization assuring the survival and use of rare breeds of livestock in the USA. Over the years they have developed methods for breed conservation that have been broadly successful. TLC techniques have been adopted across the globe due to their success in not only staving off extinction, but also assuring that breeds have a useful role in production.

Lisa Kelly M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Livestock Conservancy has significantly furthered my involvement in Poitou donkeys, and really helped with the desperate need to conserve this breed. I am so grateful for the help in ensuring that these special donkeys will be here for many years to come.

1 Diosa

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a Board member of The Livestock Conservancy for six years but my experience with this group began 15 years ago when I became involved with Galiceño horses. Members of the staff including the Executive Director helped us to have this breed studied and ultimately recognized as a Critically Endangered breed. They arranged for DNA testing that confirmed the special history and relationships. All of the staff are more than just friendly. They are very helpful. I have worked alongside them at conferences and fairs around the country. The camaraderie creates a welcome atmosphere. Even when strangers come along just out of curiosity, the staff engages them and introduces the ideas of the importance of saving rare livestock breeds. My fellow Board members are a diverse group of people associated in one way or another with various livestock breeds. They bring together ideas and create plans that have helped The Livestock Conservancy continue to grow and be successful in our mission and goals. It has been a pleasure to work with them.

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Donor

Rating: 5

It is very important to preserve rare and endangered livestock breeds for two important reasons: living history of these breeds and conserving the genetics. The Livestock Conservancy and its members are dedicated to these goals.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What an amazing nonprofit organization! As a breeder of endangered heritage breed livestock and poultry the Livestock Conservancy has been so helpful with education and outreach to help us save our wonderful breeds. They have an amazing staff that is always ready to help. We love that they interact with their members and promote small farms trying to save the rare breeds from extinction. We are grateful that they are not just an informational site on the internet and social media. The Livestock Conservancy travel to different events across the country and visit farms to interact with the public and offer information not just on the breed but also on the care and marketing of the breed and their by products. The microgrant program is an amazing opportunity to help small farms and youth with helping them get set up or expand their stock and/or shelters and fencing. We are proud to be members of this great nonprofit.

2 Jo Ellen O.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Livestock Conservancy has provided essential support to our heritage breed association, Gulf Coast Sheep Breeders Association. We hadn’t had an election in almost a decade. Our ability to register the sheep was severely hampered by outdated software and lack of leadership. Finding the documents to have an election took me almost a year. The Livestock Conservancy leadership called me regularly to offer support and encouragement. They provided the guidelines for creating a matrix for special registrations. As a volunteer of a small breed association I needed the help of experts and they provided it without charge! Giving me the power to believe we were doing something well worth all the effort! We have had an election, created new bylaws and our membership has doubled. I am grateful for their support.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been aware of the Livestock Conservancy for many years, having first learned about them and their mission when I was involved, both as a volunteer and then as an employee, with an historic site that included a farm and used them as a resource. Fast forward many years and I am now a member of the Livestock Conservancy myself and have benefited from their incredible website- first to find information about heritage breeds and they to find breeders so I could buy my own animals. I’m also a participant in the Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em challenge and have learned more than I ever expected to about breeds of sheep that I was unfamiliar with before the challenge. This non-profit has a mission to help preserve these amazing animals that our ancestors relied on for food and so much more but have since fallen out of popular use. It is critically important to preserve the genetic diversity that these animals carry and the Livestock Conservancy is the only organization of its kind to the best of my knowledge. They should have all the help and support that can be given, and then some!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Livestock Conservancy is a great place to get information about rare breeds of livestock. We first heard about the Guinea Hog breed through them. The Livestock Conservancy was one of the only websites with any information about the breed. Guinea Hogs sounded like such a good fit for our farm that we reached out to some breeders, and here we are today! We owe the last 10 years of our involvement in the breed to the Livestock Conservancy and all the wonderful people who run it.

- Closer to the Land Farm

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Livestock Conservancy fills a crucial gap in protecting the future of agriculture. Never have I seen an organization be so effective with relatively few resources compared to organizations with a similar scope. The Conservancy and their network of farmers and volunteers are agricultural heroes.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Livestock Conservancy is one of the most important organizations on earth. Heritage breeds have traits that we may need in the future and as a member of this organization, we are working to save those breeds, and those traits, for future generations.

Read more

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Great organization working on multiple levels to make a difference with many unique breeds. There work has a direct affect on the future sustainability of breeds close to being lost forever.

Cathy D.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Awesome! They provide lots of interesting information.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I cannot recall how many years ago I started viewing the Livestock Conservancy's website. Excellent resources, easy to navigate.
I was fortunate to attend the Endangered Equine Summit in Texas. The professional presentations were informative, current, realistic, relevant and engaging. The amazing group of equine lovers, breeders, from all over the world had a lot of knowledge, which they willing shared.
The staff are always available to answer your questions, assist you in different areas, connect you with experts, offer support.
I am in the process of donating semen from my Newfoundland Ponies to this dedicated, professional organization. They are the future for all animals!

Joanne46

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Promotes rare breeds of livestock. I have used their resources over the last several years to connect with small farmers who raise rare breeds of sheep. Their information is accurate and easy to use. Their members are helpful and easy to work with. Great non profit.

Holland D.

Donor

Rating: 5

They do awesome work protecting rare breeds of livestock! I am so grateful for all their hard work

Connie G.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

This non-profit is doing an amazing job with the SE2SE project (Shave ‘em 2save ‘em) which makes fiber from endangered and at risk sheep available to fiber artists as well as knitters and weavers. They offer lots of information about the sheep and the fibers through the website. I’ve been telling the knitters in my yarn store what I’m learning and many are getting interested in the varieties of sheep.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was excited to find an organization that worked hard at saving genetic diversity and that also had good results to show. The Conservancy helped me find Buckeye chicken breeders so that I could start keeping that endangered chicken breed. I am proud to be a part of such a wonderful organization. They have also helped me greatly with their educational videos and tools.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Proud to help support this great organization. What a service they provide! For over 40 years this dedicated organization has worked to share their knowledge and support breeders and heritage breed organizations to protect our future by conserving the past.

Lyndsi L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had first hand experience with this group when I was trying to get started into a mulefoot pigs. They were wonderful at directing me to breeders and the registration.

Patty D.2

Donor

Rating: 5

The Livestock Conservancy has been a wealth of information for my family about breeding and raising endangered livestock breeds. The support when I called was excellent, immediately transferred or referred to the correct person! Very knowledgeable! Thank you!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The livestock conservancy is great at answering any questions you might have! They are fast, friendly and knowledgeable!

Megan M.4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great work from The Livestock Conservancy to support biodiversity and save endangered livestock, holding on to agricultural and biological history! In great part to excellent information and support, we select the breeds for our farm from their easily navigable chart and website! We've started our conservation breeding of Cotton Patch Geese and Buckeye Chickens in conjunction with The Livestock Conservancy and have relied upon them in our teaching of university students about the importance of these livestock for our future.

Donor

Rating: 5

I wouldn't have the knowledge, passion, and drive for raising these amazing Heritage Hogs on pasture if it weren't for the wonderful people at The Livestock Conservancy.

Your time, dedication, and customer service are second to none and I cannot thank you enough for your support throughout the years. You are an essential resource for our farm in Oregon!

I am honored to be a member of your organization and together we will continue to raise awareness and protect endangered livestock / poultry breeds from extinction.

Keep up the great work! You have a member for life here!

Client Served

Rating: 5

What can be more more important than saving the genetics of poultry and livestock that have fed us for hundreds of years? The Livestock Conservancy not only helps save the genetics through saving the animals themselves but through research and the education of new farmers, chefs and consumers. Saving genetics could be the key to averting a world wide food emergency in case of pandemic disease outbreaks like the smouldering H5N1 Avian flu, which is still killing poultry worldwide. It's only a matter of time...

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Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been a member since the 70's and promote them as a way to save the genetics that will be critical to saving our food supply, in case a disease or hereditary defect wipes out the current "popular" breeds. Thanks to their resources many endangered breeds have been saved from extinction and thousands of people have been educated in the importance of saving them!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

These guys helped me initially in getting started with my chosen hog breed, American Mulefoot Hog, and have helped me with farm ideas and initiatives, as well as getting our organization on track with some important administrative decisions.

They are the go-to people in understanding the livestock, sharing their (and our) knowledge, and building a base of like-minded people that are willing and able to save critically endangered breeds.

Hats off to TLC and the wonderful work they do!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Livestock Conservancy has two goals. One is to save endangered Heritage breeds which helps different gene pools survive. And they help the people working with the Heritage breeds thrive and flourish. They are a conscientious and passionate group with the knowledge and skill sets necessary to help these farmers. Please consider this non-profit as they help the planet, animals and people. Thank you.
Christine Putman

Dan H.3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

After researching and reading hundreds of articles before taking the "jump" into small scale homesteading, I found myself always returning to The Livestock Conservation site. Exceptional information, well researched and thoughtfully presented. This is a must "go to" site for anyone wanting to take on an adventure of animal husbandry and help preserve history. One, if not the best informative sites.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Terrific organization, dedicated to protecting our heritage breeds of various livestock!

Dorothy B.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

They do very important work helping to educate and conserve breeds of Livestock and poultry that are vital to our food chain.

Jules B.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Livestock Conservancy is an AMAZING organization! There’s nothing else like it out there for education on heritage livestock breeds and connecting people involved w the breeds!

Previous Stories
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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love this organization. Their focus is clear. They have a great collection of resources. I have sent dozens of people to their website for information on rare breeds. A top notch resource for anyone interested in preserving this segment of American culture.

1 Sue R.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We've learned a lot from The Livestock Conservancy over the years.
They are full of much needed information to help save our heritage breeds.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The Livestock Conservancy has been one of my favorite non-profits - and critical resource for my farm. I reference the information on the website often as we make decisions on breeds of animals - we've really grown our farm based on the information available from the Livestock Conservancy. It's an essential resource for farmers, ranchers and also has fantastic information for general education on rare breeds and why their genetics are important.

David M.7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a great orginaztion. Ive been a member for 15 years. Without the Livestock Conservancy as a umbrella organization helping the diffrent breeds registries and raising awareness many of these breeds would be gone. I raise several listed breeds and it's great to have a organization that is so good at disseminating information.

Celeste S.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've kept a list of heritage breed animals I would like to raise one day in my back pocket since I was twelve. That was nearly 20 years ago now. My reasons for wanting to work with heritage animals have deepened from a general sense of knowing this was what I wanted in life to now being able to speak knowledgeably about genetic diversity, the hardiness of landraces and pre-industrial breeds, hybrid vigor, and also the specific characteristics of many breeds of livestock important to the history of the United States. What has never changed is that the Livestock Conservancy has always been my first, best source of information and inspiration.

Kat M.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've learned so much from The Livestock Conservancy. They always answer my questions right away & give great information. The are also a great source for finding breeders!!!

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been a supporter of this organization since its founding. It consists of knowledgeable and wise people doing essential work--that most people don't even realize needs to be done--with perseverance and creativity. I'm a member/supporter and former board member, and a professional with expertise in the field.

Donor

Rating: 5

I was considering raising sheep, and The Livestock Conservancy’s website and information led me to doing far more - raising a critically endangered and all around amazing breed.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This non-profit has made me aware of many heritage breeds which are so important to all of us. I refer frequently to their educational materials and have noticed many others share their information in response to questions raised on numerous forums. Thank you to those who have dedicated themselves to this important cause. You are very much appreciated by many!

Marie M.2

Board Member

Rating: 5

The staff of the Livestock Conservancy are truly dedicated to the organization's mission. It is through their deep knowledge and dedication that so much can be accomplished with their resources. My experiences with the staff and the public resources available on their website and in their publications continue to reinforce my belief in the value of supporting the Livestock Conservancy.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Livestock Conservancy serves a need that most people don't even know exists or that it is so vital. That need is preserving genetic diversity of farm animals. In addition the organization promotes responsible and humane animal husbandry and sustainable agriculture, and assists in promoting farm products.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Wonderful for promoting rare breeds. Great outreach program to underserved populations. Educational materials are up-to-date and applicable to modern practice.

Colin S.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Livestock Conservancy is great. I was raising pigs but then switched to raising Mulefoot Pigs after reading about them and how they are critical on the list. Some of the best pigs Ive had. Next year I am going to start raising and breeding Saxony ducks for the same reason . Keep up the good work!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I just wanted chickens and eggs. The Livestock Conservancy helped me to decide what kind of chickens I needed for my area and with what I wanted. Now I am a breeder of heritage breeds. Without the Conservancy, I would have never known there was a need. I couldn't be more happier with my selections. I got my eggs and I'm preserving a breed.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I'm a small farmer who depends on the Conservancy to help me with information about conservation breeding, where to find others in my breed, and marketing to make raising heritage breed livestock viable. Their tireless work is preserving valuable genetic heritage for generations to come.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Galiceños of Suwannee Ranch breeds and promotes a very rare breed of horse, the Galiceño. The Livestock Conservancy has been extraordinary in their research of this breed, determining its unique place in the horse world, and ultimately recognizing the breed as “Critically Endangered.” I fully support the concept of preserving Heritage Breeds for their history and the importance of preserving genetic diversity in Livestock.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I absolutely love this organization! They stand for and represent everything I believe in with livestock. They educate, promote endangered breeds, and provide training to future generations of farmers. Thank you for all you do Livestock Conservancy.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My small family farm raises a variety of heritage breeds. The Livestock Conservancy is a great organization, I get so much education from their work as well as inspiration that I too can be a part of helping endangered breeds of livestock survive. I'm proud to be a member.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Livestock Conservancy helped us decide which breeds to help conserve and has done the genetic work to differentiate related breeds of horses, cattle, and sheep brought to North America by the Spaniards.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We have "devolved" so far away from healthy hardy farm animals and the raising of them which in turn affects our food chain and our planet. The Livestock Conservancy needs all the support it can get to keep up it's great work and to grow large spread.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

These guys are great! After learning about the need for more diversity in farming we decided to switch our ranch completely over to heritage breeds. We found info on all the breeds on their website and became members. They helped us choose which breeds would work best for us. I highly recommend becoming a member and supporting this organization.

2 Woods House Farm

Board Member

Rating: 5

This organization does SO much with SO little! I loves supporting them because I'm getting a HUGE bang for my buck. And they're clearly leading the field when it comes to preserving and sharing farm genetics and the knowledge of the old masters.

2 Lisa569

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They helped us so many times over the past several years locating livestock breeds for our heritage farm. They are the best!!!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The LC is truly dedicated to the conservation of endangered breeds of livestock and poultry. Their work impacts all of us, because biodiversity helps make the Earth's future more secure. I have worked personally with some of the LC staff, and have found them to be professional and courteous, with a passion for stewardship and helping others learn more about these heritage breeds and how to conserve them.

1 Erin114

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We decided several years ago to breed and raise heritage poultry. We we.nt to the livestock concervancy website to see what information they had. It us a wonderful website and they do great work raising awareness.

1 Aimi I.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The livestock Conservancy page is the first place I go when seeking to add a new animal to our farm. Their dedication to the preservation of endangered breeds has saved many importing bloodlines over the years. They are tireless in their efforts to keep people apprised of which animals are on the brink of being lost forever. I am thankful for this group and all they do.

Christine180

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Livestock Conservancy is the way we stay informed about the endangered status of farm animals. Our farm breeds CVM sheep and we choose which poultry to raise based on the lists they maintain, which help keep the rare and primitive breeds alive. Their work is invaluable to everyone. - Christine at QT Farm

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Livestock Conservancy allows a Los Angeles dweller, like myself, to stay connected to, and support, the healthier and more sustainable food system I grew up in before I moved to the metro. The Livestock Conservancy also does a great deal to educate others about the importance of preserving the limited amount of diverse genetics we have remaining. These genetics are crucial to our future. Finally, this organization also allows me to enjoy the varied and lovely stories of the many breeds of livestock and poultry the organization works with. Always a pleasure!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We choose animals for our heritage farm based on the work of Livestock Conservancy. A fabulous nonprofit that provides invaluable data found nowhere else.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

We have utilized this organization for many years. We first got involved trying to save a rare breed of pig and we were very successful at bringing them back from the brink with the help of the conservancy. Then we also began to breed a rare endangered turkey and again, they were my first and most helpful resources. As far as I know, they are the largest and most helpful source for saving what once was very common animals on our farms and homesteads. Without them, those animals would be lost to us forever. I'm proud to be a sponsor of such a great organization. Thank you for all you do.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Livestock Conservancy does an amazing job in fulfilling their mission. I joined the LC years ago as I was considering which breed (s) of sheep would be appropriate for someone with limited livestock experience. Their on site information is compelling and after getting my sheep, I realized how very spot on it was. I have since become a member of the Board as I fully believe this is one of the very best organizations with a very forward looking approach to conservation of livestock genetic resources.