Mission & History


The mission of The Livestock Conservancy is to protect endangered livestock and poultry breeds from extinction.

Organizational Statement

The Livestock 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.


The Livestock Conservancy was "born" in the mid-1970s precisely because farmers, scientists, environmentalists, historians, and others discovered that they shared a common concern for the fate of America's traditional livestock breeds, many of which were rapidly disappearing from the rural landscape.

During preparation for the American Bicentennial Celebration, Old Sturbridge Village and Plimoth Plantation sought period-appropriate breeds to add to their exhibits. The historic documentation indicated that Milking Devon cattle should be one of the centerpiece breeds. The difficulty in finding this once popular breed was the inspiration for the creation of the first North American livestock conservation organization, which was to become The Livestock Conservancy.

On March 17, 1977, a handful of concerned citizens gathered at the Vermont Department of Agriculture to sign incorporate papers for the American Minor Breeds Conservancy (the original name of The Livestock Conservancy).

In 1993, the American Minor Breeds Conservancy changed its name to the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy and in 2013 the name was shortened to The Livestock Conservancy.

For the past four decades, the organization helped to preserve the genetic resources embodied in endangered breeds of livestock and poultry. We look forward to promoting and protecting these breeds for many years to come!