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Green Genes: Saving Breeds Created for Grass

The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, in cooperation with the USDA ARS National Animal Germplasm Program, and the American Grassfed Association, is pleased to present the 2005 ALBC Annual Members Meeting and Conference entitled, "Green Genes: Saving Breeds Created for Grass." The conference will be held on October 7-9, 2005, in Greeley, Colorado.

Don't miss a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tour the Livestock and Poultry Gene Bank facility of the National Animal Germplasm Program (NAGP). Learn how preservation using deep-frozen germplasm, and conservation using live animals complement each other. The tour will be guided by the director of the NAGP, Dr. Harvey Blackburn. This will be a unique opportunity to learn more about the National Animal Germplasm Program. Additionally, Dr. Donald E. Bixby, manager of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy Gene Bank, and Dr. George Saperstein of Tufts University and Science Director for SVF Foundation, will explain the intricacies and importance of cryopreservation of genetic material in the conservation of rare breeds of livestock.

"Green Genes: Saving Breeds Created for Grass" will include presentations on breed and species selection, management on grass, nutritional benefits of pasture-based production, and marketing and profiting from these specialized products. Learn from producers, scientists, and other rare breed experts about the "why" and "how" of saving and profiting from animals well-suited for grass-based production. Some of the planned presentation titles include:
- Importance of the conservation of live animals in their working environments, and long-term preservation of genetic material.
- Setting up and implementing a pasture-based system for multiple livestock species.
- Breeding and selection for grass-based production in beef cattle.
- Holistic management: planning for healthy animals, pastures, and people.
- The science behind the health benefits of grass-finished livestock and poultry.

Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in two special group discussions as well. One will be a moderated discussion of breeds of cattle, sheep, and goats appropriate for grass-based production. The second will be a marketing roundtable that focuses on needs of the customer - panelists will include a chef, meat retailer, and a nutritionist.

We are excited to announce that the Keynote speaker for the conference will be Dr. Vincent Amanor-Boadu, Director of the Kansas Ag Innovation Center, Kansas State University. "Dr. Vincent," as he is known, is a dynamic speaker who has a reputation for riveting his audience. His presentation, "Fast-Food Week - Slow-Food Weekend: Taking advantage of America's changing relationship with food," will help illuminate the emerging market trends from which rare breeds of livestock could benefit.

As a special treat, Friday night's heavy hors d'oeuvres will give attendees the opportunity to taste rare breeds such as grass-fed Galloway and Red Poll beef, St. Croix and Navajo-Churro lamb, Bronze and Slate turkeys. You won't want to miss this "rare" opportunity to explore and compare the flavors of these breeds. Saturday night's banquet will feature grass-fed meat. So bring your appetite and rest assured that you will be eating healthy!

An exhibit of rare breeds will be Sunday's highlight and will close the weekend. Breeders will be on hand to share their experiences - both good and bad - with the breeds on display. Participants will be able to compare breeds, ask questions, and share personal experiences, providing everyone with an opportunity to learn.

The impressive list of speakers additionally includes: Ann Wells, DVM, Springpond Holistic Animal Health, nationally recognized educator and consultant on sustainable livestock production. Kevin Fulton, breeder and producer of Galloway beef, Fulton Farms. D. Philip Sponenberg, DVM, PhD, Technical Advisor, American Livestock Breeds Conservancy and Professor, Veterinary Pathology and Genetics, Virginia Polytechnic & State University. Cindy Dvergsten, Holistic Management Consultant, Whole New Concepts. Tilak R. Dhiman, PhD, Associate Professor, Dairy Nutrition, Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences Department, Utah State University. (Additional speakers pending.)

This event promises to be an exceptional program - one of ALBC's best. Special thanks go to the USDA ARS National Animal Germplasm Program and the American Grassfed Association for their help in putting together this one of a kind event.

Registration is open to all and is only $155, with ALBC and AGA members discounted to $125. Conference brochures will be mailed to ALBC members and will be available on the web at For more information or to register, contact the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, PO Box 477, Pittsboro, NC, 27312, phone (919) 542-5704, or email


The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy is a nonprofit membership organization working to protect over 150 breeds of cattle, goats, horses, asses, sheep, swine and poultry from extinction. (

Established in 2003, the American Grassfed Association works to promote the grassfed industry through government relations, research, concept marketing and public education. (

National Animal Germplasm Program (NAGP), managed by the USDA's Agricultural Research Service, is the nation's primary program for conservation of genetic resources for the livestock, poultry, and aquaculture industries. ( ml)


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