Microgrant Program

Heritage Livestock Microgrant Program

2020 Microgrant recipients have been announced!

Click here to view them

Instructions for Applying

The Livestock Conservancy is a national non-profit membership organization that works to protect over 150 breeds of livestock and poultry from extinction. With the support of generous donors, microgrant funds enhance the competitiveness and stability of heritage breed livestock and poultry farms through small competitive grants. Funds may be used for the purchase of genetically important animals, improvements to farm infrastructure, rare breed promotion and marketing, improved production efficiency, or farmer education, as well as the processing and sales of milk, meat, and eggs from rare breeds.  Agri-tourism and wool milling projects will also be considered.

Who should apply?

Applicants can apply for funds in only one of the following three categories of the microgrant program, which includes:

  1. National grants open to all residents and organizations residing and actively working with heritage breeds in the United States (U.S.).
  2. Northeast grants focused on the region defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Applicants must be residents or organizations residing and actively working with heritage breeds in one of these nine states.
  3. Youth grants open to all residents of the U.S. between the ages of 8 and 18 years old who are actively working with heritage breeds.

For full consideration, applicants must:

  1. Work with livestock, poultry, or products from animals on The Livestock Conservancy’s Conservation Priority List of heritage breeds, which can be viewed here.
  2. Complete the online application, including a detailed plan for the use of the grant funds, a clear timeline for achieving proposed goals, a summary of how the project will impact both the breed and other producers, and a strategy for how you will evaluate success.
  3. Include two letters of recommendation from a professional relationship or educator.  If the applicant is under 18, a letter of support from a parent or guardian is also required. These can be attached within the online application as a PDF, MS Word, or JPEG file. Letters may not be requested of or provided by current staff or board members of The Livestock Conservancy.
  4. Microgrant recipients are required to submit a written report on the use and impact of the microgrant funds within one year of accepting the award.
  5. Special consideration will be given to farmers who are active members of their breed association, as well as those farmers who will represent The Livestock Conservancy at local events by displaying heritage animals during the year following receipt of the microgrant.

How can the grant be spent?

Suitable uses of grant funds include the purchase, production, and marketing of heritage breed animals and their products, as well as agri-tourism and product marketing using heritage breeds. Examples of expenditures include, but are not limited to, the purchase of livestock or poultry, producer training programs, fencing, facilities, supplies, and specialized equipment. Funds must be used as stated in the applicant’s proposal and may not be used for wages or compensation for individuals. The use of funds inconsistent with the proposal will result in forfeiture of the award and repayment of funds. Receipts for purchases will be required for reimbursement; microgrant recipients may also request purchases be made directly by the Livestock Conservancy. Farmers have one year to use their microgrant funds.
How much is awarded? Microgrants are awarded from $500 to $2,000.

When are the next applications due?

Applications will begin in early summer 2020 for the next round of awards.  Watch this website for details.

Where to submit applications:

When the next round of funding opens, electronic applications may be submitted using the link at the bottom of this page. Applicants will need to register for an account within this microgrants system. Note this is NOT connected to a Livestock Conservancy membership account. This is a new account just for submitting microgrant applications.
Please contact info@livestockconservancy.org or (919) 542-5704 with questions.

A paper copy of the application for those without online access may be requested at:
The Livestock Conservancy
Attn: Microgrants
P.O. Box 477
Pittsboro, NC 27312

Paper applications should be submitted to the mailing address above.

Current employees and Directors of The Livestock Conservancy and their spouses are not eligible for the microgrants program, nor may they be used for letters of recommendation. Qualified applicants will be considered without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, gender identity, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran status.

Start planning your project to save rare and endangered livestock breeds from extinction!  And check back later this year for the next application.

If you would like to help fund microgrants or other initiatives, please contact The Livestock Conservancy at (919) 542-5704 or at info@LivestockConservancy.org.