People save animals. Since its earliest days, The Livestock Conservancy has established, maintained, and supported breed registries, clubs, and associations. People are our most important partners. By bringing together people focused on individual livestock breeds and creating community, we continue to prevent the extinction of endangered livestock and poultry breeds. But for every breed association helped to establish or strengthen, another declines in effectiveness or organizational health.

Nearly all breed organizations for rare and endangered livestock are volunteer-led and can seldom offer leadership or management training to their volunteers. The fine details of leadership and working together can become complicated and emotional, which can splinter groups rather than unite them. As the sole umbrella organization for rare and endangered livestock and poultry breeds and breeders in the United States, The Livestock Conservancy serves as a neutral resource for breed organizations and breeders to consult in times of trouble. The Livestock Conservancy’s advocacy and outreach enables associations, clubs, and registries to focus on effective inclusion of breeders and to develop sound procedures for the long-term genetic management of their breed.

Continuing our dedication to breed organizations, The Livestock Conservancy is excited to announce our Cultivating Leadership Initiative. This program will help breed associations, clubs, and registries establish and achieve high standards of operation for longevity and continued success. Thriving organizations save more livestock and poultry. Components of the Cultivating Leadership Initiative include a Breed Organization Accreditation Program, Breed Organization Training, and Pedigree Registration Services. These programs are available to breed cubs, associations, and registries as optional services. Organizations may adopt whichever building blocks are most needed to address their own situation.

Breed Organization Training

Breed association officers and registrars have few resources for training and continuing education. Beginning August 18, The Livestock Conservancy will offer a series of online workshops addressing best practices to help organizations identify gaps and improve their organizational management.

This training series aligns with the best practices required for accreditation, so it will be especially beneficial to officers and leaders of breed associations and clubs. The training is divided into 9 modules, with the live online training held from 6:30-7:30 pm Eastern Time on the third Thursday of each month. Organizations or individuals may register for a single module or for the entire series. The cost is $35 per module or $280 for the series per organization. Training is open to all members of an organization. Following initial participant registration, a discount code is available for additional participants. Please email for the discount code. Module fees may be applied to an organization’s accreditation application. 

  • Cultivating Leadership in Breed Organizations Training & Accreditation Program Overview 
  • Module 1 – Establishing and Managing Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws, September 15, 2022
  • Module 2 – Managing Membership, October 20, 2022
  • Module 3 – Board Roles and Responsibilities, November 17, 2022
  • Module 4 – Building and Maintaining an Effective Board, December 15, 2022
  • Module 5 – Ensuring Accountability and Transparency, January 19, 2023
  • Module 6 – Managing External Communications, February 16, 2023
  • Module 7 – Managing Internal Communications, March 16, 2023
  • Module 8 – Managing Risk, April 20, 2023
  • Module 9 – Managing a Herdbook and Registry, May 18, 2023

Register for Upcoming Breed Organization Training

Questions? Need more information? Please email

Breed Organization Accreditation Program

As part of The Livestock Conservancy’s new Cultivating Leadership Initiative, we established The Livestock Conservancy Breed Organization Accreditation Program to provide resources and guidance for association and club leaders to use in building a highly effective organizational structure. Successful breed organizations share many common characteristics, including solid by-laws, clear communications, effective member support and sound financial management practices.

The accreditation program was developed by a committee of current and former board members of very successful breed associations and clubs, across 8 species, along with leaders in agriculture and academia. The committee drew upon the best practices that led to their own organization’s success. It is these practices that set the standards for each tier of the accreditation program.

Through participation in the voluntary accreditation program, club or association leaders will gain the tools they need for creating high standards of operation. By incorporating best management practices, the organization can benefit from greater longevity, stability, and success in pursuing its mission. The consistent use of sound organizational practices helps builds trust in your organization, which attracts more members and breeders. These practices also help establish the credibility that donors need to see before they support an organization’s work.

If you would like to learn more about how to evaluate your by-laws, manage conflict, create sound financial practices, or improve your communications with members and the public, the new program can help you meet your goals. If you are just starting out, the program can also help you learn best practices for building a successful organization.

Breed Organization Accreditation Program Benefits

Breed associations and clubs can benefit from both the process and the status of accreditation. Different benefits emerge at each step of the review cycle and continue to unfold over the long-term. Each breed organization can capitalize on various benefits based on its organization’s needs at any given time. Participant organizations may observe the following benefits:

Credibility and Accountability

  • National recognition of the breed organization’s commitment to excellence and the highest professional standards of breed organization operation and public service
  • A positive public image and validation of the breed organization’s work and accomplishments
  • Increased credibility with funding agencies and donors
  • Stakeholders see your breed organization is fulfilling its public trust obligations

Clearer Sense of Purpose

  • A shared, clearer sense of purpose and understanding of the breed organization’s strengths, goals, priorities, needs and mission
  • An opportunity for your staff and board to be thoughtful about their practices

Leverage and Support

  • A valuable tool in working with local and state governments
  • Improved relationships with other breed organizations resulting in more collaborative relationships
  • A leveraging tool to attract support for capital improvements

Sustainability and a Stronger Institution

  • Fosters sustained organizational development and improvement
  • The governing authority is equipped to meet breed organization standards
  • Increased level of professionalism
  • May be viewed as a lower risk for board and officers’ insurance

Accreditation Prerequisites, Criteria, Application/Renewal and Review Process

Pedigree Registration Services

A major responsibility of a breed association is registration of animals within the breed. As a neutral third party, we hope to remove one burden or source of controversy for some breed associations. Registries maintain pedigree information on all animals and have records for the breed as a whole. By contrast, non-registered, undocumented animals are lost both to a breed’s history and to its genetic future. Without registration, The Livestock Conservancy and breed organizations would lose track of the genetic resources inherent in those purebred animals. This information is essential to preventing extinction.

Within most rare breed organizations, the vital service of documenting and tracking purebred animals within the breed relies on volunteers. Registration activities can fall short when well-meaning registrars are unable to fulfill their duties or simply fall behind. A reliable pedigree registration service, at an affordable cost to breeders of rare and endangered livestock, will help secure rare genetics, increase accessibility of information for breeding decisions, improve the financial value of individual registered animals, and safeguard historical records for years to come.

The Livestock Conservancy serves as a private and secure back-up for breed associations managing their own registries and other breed data but who need a secure place to keep a copy of their information. Currently, The Livestock Conservancy performs registration services for seven breeds. A few are breeds with no existing association, while others transitioned their registries earlier this year. Two more registries are in the pipeline and we can add one more by the end of 2022.

To inquire about this confidential pedigree registration services for your organization, please email Applications are accepted on a first come, first served basis. A waiting period applies.

Stronger Together

Together, we are stronger. By educating and training organizations on the front lines of saving rare and endangered livestock, we can harness the power of strong, effective breed associations. The advantages of critical conservation work will be significantly multiplied beyond that which we could accomplish working alone.

If you have questions about any of the programs or services mentioned above, or would more information, please email

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We look forward to working with you!