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2016 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

54 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I'm proud to be a member and supporter of this incredible organization. We must protect genetic diversity to ensure the future of agriculture.

1 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.

Jules B.

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 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!!!

1

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.

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.

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.

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.