|NAGP Celebrates International Heritage Breeds Week|
The mission of the National Animal Germplasm Program (NAGP) is to provide genetic security and increase genetic understanding of U.S. livestock. With secure and well documented genetic resources, the livestock sector will have greater capacity to adapt to food insecurity and climate change challenges. We use an integrated approach comprised of information systems, genetics, and cryobiology along with interaction with national and international partners to address these issues.
NAGP has collaborated with The Livestock Conservancy since the inception of NAGP in 1999. The tremendous work by U.S. breeders in maintaining heritage breeds in-situ is the ultimate genetic resources conservation. NAGP and LC collaborations have included coordination of live animal collections, importation of semen from the U.K., storage of cryopreserved germplasm, and sharing of animal information to better manage livestock breeds. The shared goals of both organizations is mutually beneficial for furthering the mission of both organizations and for the benefit of genetic resources conservation.
NAGP relies on breeders to donate genetic material from their livestock, primarily semen, to the repository. Since 1999, our collection has grown to more than 32,000 animals and 856,000 units of material. While the collection is substantial, there is still a need to add genetically diverse germplasm from all species.
"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to have semen and other germplasm stored at the NAGP facility. It's an Insurance policy. In the event of loss of any critical bloodlines. If we lost sheep due to disease, predators or severe weather we have the option to bring those genes back into our flock via AI and perhaps even embryo transfer. I see it as just as important as maintaining breeding records and planning the next years' lambs. I would encourage all breeders of heritage breeds livestock to participate by having semen and other germplasm collected and saved. Think of it as your gift to future generations and a backup plan for your flock or herd now."
- Ken & Eugenie "Oogie" McGuire, Desert Weyr