The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC) will be celebrating 35 years of success at their annual conference on November 9-10 in Cary, N.C. Whether you’re a hard-core farmer or backyard hobbyist, the conference is sure to have something that will ruffle your tail feathers. Presenters include Andy Schneider, more commonly known as “The Chicken Whisperer” who will conduct a “Getting Started With Backyard Chickens” workshop. Co-founder and current Vice President of Seed Savers Exchange, Diane Ott Whealy, will discuss her experience with heirloom seeds and heritage breeds. World-renown geneticist and author of Equine Color Genetics and A Conservation Breeding Handbook, D. Phillip Sponenberg, will present a conservation workshop. In addition to the well-chosen speakers, the conference will host 20 different workshops on topics ranging from “The Heritage Farm Startup” to “How to Make Bucks with Ducks” and “Horse Farming 101.”
The conference officially kicks off Friday, November 9, with a banquet featuring rare breed products and the announcement of the Annual Conservation Award winners. Conference fees are $230 for non-members and $195 for members. For the especially enthusiastic, there are pre-conference clinics held Friday that cost anywhere from $25 to $195 each.
If you’re unable to attend the conference but want to support the ALBC, you can invest in a Heritage Hen Mini Farm which donates three percent of the proceeds to the ALBC. Three percent may not sound like much, but, because the Nieman Marcus hen-house sells for a whopping $100,000, it quickly becomes a tidy sum. We understand that the Versailles inspired hen house — with its elegant chandelier and chicken “living room”— is a completely unrealistic purchase for the average chicken keeper, but we do applaud Nieman Marcus for providing scores of well-intentioned advertising and publicity for the ALBC and the self-reliance movement.
Hannah Kincaid is an Editorial Assistant for MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine. She is an enthusiastic student of herbal medicine, organic gardening and yoga. You can find Hannah on Google+.