PITTSBORO, N.C. — Applications for the Heritage Livestock Microgrants Program are now open! Submit your application today at http://bit.ly/TLCMicrogrant.
In 2020, The Livestock Conservancy awarded more than $22,000 to farmers, ranchers, and shepherds raising endangered breeds of livestock and poultry across the country. Now in its fourth year, the Microgrants Program continues to put funding into the hands of our most important conservation partners – the people doing the hard work day after day to steward these genetic treasures for the security of tomorrow’s food and fiber systems.
“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 three categories:
National Microgrants, open to all residents and organizations residing and actively working with heritage breeds listed on the Conservation Priority List in the United States.
Youth Microgrants, open to all youth residents of the United State between the ages of 8-18 years old and actively working with heritage breeds listed on the Conservation Priority List.
Emergency Microgrants, open to all residents and organizations residing in the United State and actively working with heritage breeds listed on the Conservation List, who need help to offset losses incurred due to unforeseen circumstances like the COVID-19 pandemic or natural disasters, as well as the costs associated with unexpected rehoming or rescues due to owner death, disability or surrender. Applications in this category are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis.
Complete applications must be submitted no later than August 15, 2021 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
Suitable expenditures of microgrant funds include the purchase, production and marketing of heritage breed animals and their products, and agri-tourism using heritage breeds, such as producer training programs, fences, facilities, supplies, and specialized equipment, or product marketing. Funds must be used as stated in the applicant’s proposal and may not be used for wages or compensation for individuals. Recipients have one year to use their funds.
For more information about the microgrant program or for advice on how write a better grant application, at http://bit.ly/TLCMicrogrant
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.
–The Livestock Conservancy