Applications for the Heritage Livestock Microgrants Program are open! Submit your application online today at
The Livestock Conservancy Microgrants Program continues to put funding into the hands of our most important conservation partners – those stewarding genetic treasures for the security of tomorrow’s food and fiber systems. The Livestock Conservancy awards more than $22,000 annually in $500-$2,000 Microgrants to farmers, ranchers, shepherds, and breed organizations keeping endangered breeds of livestock and poultry from going extinct across the country.
“Small financial awards can make a big difference for heritage breeders,” said Dr. Alison Martin, Livestock Conservancy Executive Director. “These strategic investments are selected by a panel of judges as excellent examples of livestock conservation in action across the United States.”
Applications for $500 to $2,000 grants may be submitted for one of four categories:
- National Microgrants: Residents and organizations of the U.S. working with livestock and poultry breeds listed on the Conservation Priority List. Support will be provided through this competitive program for a variety of farm-related operations, including, but not limited to, livestock, poultry, processing, milk, meat and egg production and sales, agritourism, wool milling, promotions and marketing. Awards typically range from $500 – $2,000, at the discretion of The Livestock Conservancy. New this year, is a rabbit-related Microgrant sponsored by KW Cages.
- Youth Microgrants: This U.S.-based program provides funding for youth projects for individuals 8-18 years of age and are actively working with breeds listed on the Conservation Priority List. Support will be provided through this competitive program for a variety of farm-related operations, including, but not limited to, livestock, poultry, processing, milk, meat and egg production and sales, agritourism, wool milling, promotions and marketing. Awards typically range from $500 – $2,000, at the discretion of The Livestock Conservancy.
- Premier 1 Microgrant: This program provides funding for residents and organizations of the U.S. working with livestock and poultry breeds listed on The Livestock Conservancy’s Conservation Priority List. Support will include fencing products available through Premier 1 Supplies and other project related needs. Awards typically range from $500 – $2,000, at the discretion of The Livestock Conservancy.
- NEW Breed Association Microgrants: This program is open to U.S. based associations and clubs working with breeds listed on The Livestock Conservancy’s Conservation Priority List. Funds are intended to help associations and clubs improve services for their membership and conservation of their breeds. Applicant organizations must be in existence for a minimum of three years, meet their state’s requirements for operating as a business or corporation, be incorporated (no Sole Proprietors or Partnerships), and have board approval to pursue the project. Suitable expenditures of Breed Association Microgrants include, but are not limited to, marketing materials, website improvements, gene banking, software, educational events, developing strategic plans, DNA studies, flock or herd rescues.
Complete applications must be submitted no later than August 19, 2022 and must include a detailed plan for the use of the grant funds, such as a list of deliverables that can be validated, a clear timeline for achieving proposed goals, a detailed project budget for matching funds or other resources, how the project will impact the breed and other producers, and how you will evaluate the success of your project. Applications should also include two letters of recommendation from a professional relationship or educator; if applicant is under the age of 18, a letter of support from a parent or guardian is also required
Find more information about the Microgrant program as well as a video about how write a better grant application at https://livestockconservancy.org/resources/micro-grant-program/
The Livestock Conservancy is a national non-profit membership organization working to protect more than 150 breeds of livestock and poultry from extinction.
Why is genetic diversity important?
Like all ecological systems, agriculture depends on genetic diversity to adapt to an ever-changing environment. Genetic diversity in domestic animals is revealed in distinct breeds, each with different characteristics and uses. Traditional, historic breeds retain essential attributes for survival and self-sufficiency – fertility, foraging ability, longevity, maternal instincts and resistance to disease and parasites. As agriculture changes, this genetic diversity may be needed for a broad range of uses and opportunities. Once lost, genetic diversity is gone forever.
What are Heritage Breeds?
Heritage breeds are livestock and poultry breeds raised by our forefathers. 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.
Heritage animals once roamed 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.