Preserving Legacy Breeds of Livestock and Poultry

The Livestock Conservancy is a non-profit membership organization whose mission is to protect livestock and poultry breeds from extinction. Dr. Charlene Couch, senior project manager for The Livestock Conservancy, talks about the importance of preserving the legacy of livestock.

“Our mission is to prevent the extinction of endangered breeds of livestock and poultry, especially those that have been in our country for hundreds of years, in some cases. The Livestock Conservancy came about during the 1976 Bicentennial, when organizations were planning to do reenactments and to show off the historic and heritage breeds that would have been on farmsteads, and they weren’t able to find those breeds.”

She talks about some of the key functions of the Conservancy’s mission.

“Our work is really centered around helping farmers with education, with marketing, and promotion. We do a national census every year of all the endangered breeds of livestock and poultry that we monitor.”

The conservation’s priority list of species they’re concerned about include Clydesdale horses and Tennessee “Fainting Goats.” She says graduating some species off the list marks a significant milestone in their efforts.

For more information about The Livestock Conservancy and its mission, go to