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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

63 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

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!!!