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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

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

98 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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...

Previous Stories

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
1

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

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 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.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Without this organization so many breeds would be gone,including my favorite the Buckeye chicken.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

#1 organization that is conserving livestock for the future generations.

Ashly S.

Donor

Rating: 5

One of the top nonprofits out there, doing the necessary and much needed work of raising awareness and census numbers for heritage livestock breeds. We wouldn't be here without them!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Livestock Conservancy is doing a fantastic job raising awareness of the plight of heritage breeds of livestock and poultry.

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been a member of The Livestock Conservacy since they first mentioned Caspian Horses as a breed in need if conservation. My husband and I had been trying to get the word out about Caspians and let people know what lovely horses they were and were having only limited success. The Livestock Conservancy really helped get the word out about Caspians to a wider audience . Once I joined I became interested in other breeds of livestock in need of conservation. If we're going to have sheep, goats, rabbits, chickens and geese, we may as well have breeds that are in need of support. The bonus being that many times the temperament of the older "heirloom" breeds are often superior to the modern breeds.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Livestock Conservancy is doing something amazing in today's day and age - focusing on the past. The revival of heritage livestock breeds is so vital for the American culinary landscape, which is doomed with the Conservancy. It brings together farmers and ranchers from across the country and even the world that all have something in common - our rare animal breeds. It gives us a chance to not only preserve these breeds but access resources and bloodlines we might not have been able to find otherwise. Cannot say enough good things about The Livestock Conservancy.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Livestock Conservancy provides the public with education which cannot be found easily elsewhere. It is because of the information regarding Heritage Turkeys that I began raising a flock of my own. I am able to reference The Livestock Conservancy when I need information and find this resource invaluable.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Livestock Conservancy serves as a vanguard spreading the word as to why heritage breeds of livestock are important; important commercially, sustainably and historically. As people get more and more in touch with what they eat they need an organization like TLC to inform and educate.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have used the Livestock Conservancy online to access all information concerning Heritage Breed Chickens. After having my yak herd stolen TWICE, once in Northern NM and a second time in Southern Colorado, (where my evidence was blocked or not presented in the courtroom) I decided to switch to raising Chickens for their eggs. Most of my flock of 7 7 chickens consists of heritage breed chickens. While I am not a certified Organic producer I do all I can to maintain a healthy organic diet for my chickens. The need to maintain the Heritage Breeds in all areas, not just with poultry is vital in my opinion. One interesting situation this year was the outbreak of avian flu in production factory farms but an absence of this devastating disease in small flocks. I sell my eggs at Santa Fe Farmers Market where the consumers are actively interested in the concept of Heritage Breeds. People were unaware of the impact of factory farming on the diminishing populations of Heritage Breed Chickens.

Client Served

Rating: 5

IF not for the Livestock Conservancy, I would not have have chosen the rare breed of rabbit I raise and help preserve, because I wouldn't have known about them.

When I am considering adding a new animal to my farm, they are the first place I go, to start research.