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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

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.

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!

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.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Best Rare Breed group in the world. They go above and beyond.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Conservancy has provided great information regarding the rare breeds and we've used that information on our farm and in our purchasing of rare breeds. They support small farmers and breeders of these old breeds that have to survive to support our future. Great organization and we appreciate their support!

Amanda191

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Every since I found out about the Lifestock Conservancy website back when I was researching about chicken care and the different breeds, it has become my go to place to see which breeds will be the next candidates to join our little mini farm. And at the moment I've been researching the different different breeds of goats preparing for when we're ready to jump into the world of goats soon.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I believe it's vitally important to conserve "heirloom" animals and plants in this world of mono-cropping both meat and plant food. When a plant or animal goes extinct, we'll never be able to make use of its unique qualities again. I appreciate and thank the Livestock Conservancy for its excellent work in conserving livestock in danger of extinction. As a member of many years, I trust the staff and board to make the decisions that must be made in an organization living on donations with a far-reaching and extremely important mission.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a member of The Livestock Conservancy for many years. They have a fabulously dedicated staff, and help everyone with their rare breed questions . They are incredibly dedicated and patient people.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Whenever I can't answer a question at a Farmers' Market or someone wants just a little more information than I have time to convey, I direct them to the Livestock Conservancy breeds pages. We are working with the conservancy to breed better Randall Lineback Cattle and Mulefoot Hogs. They have visited the farm twice and are fonts of information and ideas. We try to help the staff attend events crucial to gathering of information by donating air miles for their travel costs. What a dedicated group of people involved with preserving genetic diversity for the welfare of all peoples on the planet. Thanks!!!

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a second generation farmer, i respect The Livestock Conservancy to bring me up to date information on the advantages of breeds that have fallen from favor with the rise of industrial ag. These are the breeds that today's and tomorrow's small farmers need to know about and pursue.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Hello,
I learned about sustainable practices in Australia in 1968. When I learned about the Conservancy in 1977 I knew they would be leaders in the environmental coalition because the founders realized the importance of DNA in domestic breeds world-wide. I was a member for 30 years so I have watched these folks pursue their mission with stunning fervor. Dedication of the highest order. The future of our world depends on good folks doing their best. A big THANK YOU to each one.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I first learned of The Livestock Conservancy from a magazine article I read on a critically endangered breed of horse. I became a member of the conservancy, bought some of the horses that I read about in the article, and began a breeding program. I now have heritage chickens, too. Looking forward to acquiring a few goats from a heritage breed. This organization has educated me as to the importance of sustaining heritage livestock breeding populations, and helped me personally as I began a breeding program for my horses. I have called many times with questions and have been help in a polite and expert manner. I appreciate the newsletters and read the quarterly news magazines from cover to cover!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

100 years ago many Americans were ranchers and farmers. If not, then at least one member of the extended family was a farmer or rancher. Now there are fewer and fewer of us. Our story needs to be told to the general public, and noone does it better than the Livestock Conservancy.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Livestock Conservancy is the only entity in the US working to preserve genetic diversity in our domestic species. With climate change and the growing human population, agriculture needs all the diversity we can muster to meet the challenges we face. As a farmer I benefit from their assistance in determining breeds that will fit my specific farm environment and how to properly manage and use those breeds. The Livestock Conservancy is an antidote to inappropriate industrial agriculture and provides much support and help for small diversified farms across the country. .

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What a great organization! They truly care about what they do, and are always extremely helpful with any questions. The research they do, and the animals they have saved , and will save, is a valuable treasure to the human race! Worth every penny of the membership fee.

2 Lee_36

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

There's simply too much to put in brief print here. Suffice it to say, that not only does the Conservancy's work help each individual sharing in their aspirations and efforts, but helps the entire world by ensuring future food resources. This is at the heart of their mission statement, and the height of their efforts. V.L. Havens

1 Jo__29

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I had seen them on the web over the years making aware the breeds that were endangered. Then I took part in the Fair at Seven Springs, PA, and I came to have a more intimate knowledge of who they are, and what they do. I took away from the Fair that they are working hard on, not just bringing numbers up but, bringing back breeds that used to be a part of every family farm. I understand more fully what "Heritage" breeds mean, and why it is important to want heritage breeds back on the family farm again!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

The Livestock Conservancy takes specific and well-documented action to preserve rare breeds of livestock which in turn enhances genetic diversity to ensure that foundation breeds remain available. They actively educate members and the general public about the need for conservation of these breeds, provide great opportunities for networking and stock-sharing, and promote awareness of the risks of losing these animals.