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Heritage Breeds

Heritage Breeds of Livestock and Poultry

“Preserving the past to build a strong future”

The purpose of 4-H heritage breeds clubs is to create an awareness of the importance of preserving the heritage breeds and to help others to:

  • Experience first-hand the many unique characteristics of heritage breeds of livestock and poultry.
  • Learn about the various uses of animal products and/or effective marketing of those products.
  • Experience caring for and exhibiting a heritage breed.
  • Learn about the lifecycle of livestock and poultry.

In 2004, a dozen Tennessee Fainting Goats were adopted by 4-H youth interested in working with heritage breeds. The goats were raised at Swiss Village Farm in Newport, Rhode Island. Another adoption initiative provided Dominique Chickens and Bronze Turkeys to 4-H youth, compliments of the 4-H Heritage Farming Club of Montague.

Massachusetts 4-H has several clubs dedicated to the preservation of the heritage breeds. Contact one of the 4-H offices for more specific information about opportunities to work with heritage breeds.  We invite you to join or start a 4-H heritage breeds club. You can make a difference!

Heritage Breeds Sources

American Livestock Breeds Conservancy

If interested in joining or starting a 4-H heritage breed club, please contact:

Carrie Chickering-Sears
Phone: 413-545-5302
Via e-mail: ccsears@umext.umass.edu