American Livestock Breeds Conservancy
What is the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC)?
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy is a clearing-house for information on livestock and genetic diversity.
These breeds are threatened because agriculture has changed. Modern food production now favors the use of a few highly specialized breeds selected for maximum output in a controlled environment. Many traditional livestock breeds have lost popularity and are threatened with extinction. These traditional breeds are an essential part of the American agricultural inheritance. Not only do they evoke our past, they are also an important resource for our future.
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, founded in 1977, is the only organization in the U.S. working to conserve rare breeds and genetic diversity in livestock.
Don Bixby with Wendell BerryEnsuring the future of agriculture through genetic conservation and the promotion of endangered breeds of livestock and poultry.
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy protects genetic diversity in livestock and poultry species through the conservation and promotion of endangered breeds. These rare breeds are part of our national heritage and represent a unique piece of the earth's bio-diversity. The loss of these breeds would impoverish agriculture and diminish the human spirit. We have inherited a rich variety of livestock breeds. For the sake of future generations we must work together to safeguard these treasures.
What does ALBC do?
Marjorie Bender at EquitanaThe American Livestock Breeds Conservancy's programs include 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.
The need for livestock conservation is urgent. Throughout agricultural history, each generation has taken its turn as steward of the genetic trust. Our generation is now in danger of bankrupting this trust and leaving little for the future. Each day, some breeds move closer to extinction. Each extinction reduces the diversity within the livestock species and the biodiversity of the Earth.