Science Cafe: Heritage Breed Conservation
Heritage Breed Conservation: A Key Strategy for the Security of Agriculture
Throughout agricultural history each generation has taken its turn as steward of the genetic trust of traditional farm animal breeds, yet our current generation is in danger of bankrupting this trust. Modern agriculture is instead dominated by a few highly specialized breeds selected for maximum output, leaving many traditional breeds to disappear as their popularity declines. This puts the future of agriculture in great jeopardy by depending on only a few breeds with limited genetic diversity to produce the majority of food for our country. Join Jeannette Beranger for a look at animals that helped build our country and to learn how some breeds have managed to cling to existence and fill a new niche as alternative livestock well suited for greener, more sustainable agricultural systems. She will also discuss the role that The Livestock Conservancy and its members play in the conservation of endangered breeds and how you as a farmer or consumer can ensure we don’t lose these historic treasures.
About the Speaker
Jeannette Beranger is the Research and Technical Programs Manager for The Livestock Conservancy, a national non-profit dedicated for nearly 40 years to the conservation of historic and endangered breeds of livestock and poultry. She came to The Conservancy with 20+ years’ worth of experience working with animals and uses the knowledge to plan and implement breed conservation programs and to work directly with farmers seeking advice on rare breeds. She is a regular contributor for several nationally published magazines and her rare breed photography has been seen extensively online and in newspapers, books and magazines across the globe. She recently co-authored the book "An Introduction to Heritage Breeds – Saving and Raising Rare Breed Livestock and Poultry". At home in she maintains a heritage breeds farm with her family with a focus on rare breed chickens and endangered Marsh Tacky horses.