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Preserving Livestock Biodiversity

Heritage breeds are traditional livestock breeds that were raised by our forefathers. These are the breeds of a bygone era, before industrial agriculture became a mainstream practice.

From Livestock Conservacy

Many of America’s once-common farm animals face extinction if we do not take action now. Rare farm animals represent an irreplaceable piece of earth’s biodiversity and offer incredible variety that may be needed for future farms – robust health, mothering instincts, foraging, and the ability to thrive in a changing climate. These farm animals are a vital part of ensuring food security for our planet – now and for the future.

Heritage breeds are traditional livestock breeds that were raised by our forefathers. These are the breeds of a bygone era, before industrial agriculture became a mainstream practice. These breeds were carefully selected and bred over time to develop traits that made them well-adapted to the local environment and they thrived under farming practices and cultural conditions that are very different from those found in modern agriculture.

Traditional, historic breeds retain essential attributes for survival and self-sufficiency – fertility, foraging ability, longevity, maternal instincts, ability to mate naturally, and resistance to diseases and parasites.

Heritage animals once roamed the pastures of America’s pastoral landscape, but today these breeds are in danger of extinction. Modern agriculture has changed, causing many of these breeds to fall out of favor. Heritage breeds store a wealth of genetic resources that are important for our future and the future of our agricultural food system.

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Gallery

Heritage Breed Livestock

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Articles

Precerving Livestock Bio-Diversity

Breeder Preserves Rare Dairy Cattle
Jody Jess has one of the largest herds of Kerry cattle in North America. She has 20 animals. The ancient breed from Ireland, believed to be the first that farmers bred solely for dairy,…
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