For Teachers

Letter to Educators



Why Study Rare Breeds?

ALBC Conservation Priorty List


~ K-2 Overview


~ 3-5 Overview



Farm Visits

Four Guiding Concepts of NAT

The Noah's Ark Today slideshow presents four guiding concepts:

INTERDEPENDENCE: People and animals have lived together for thousands of years, and depended on each other. Animals provide people with food, fiber and services, including companionship, and people provide animals places to live, food, water and security during their lifetime.

GENETIC DIVERSITY: Domestic species are divided into breeds, which are distinct and consistent groups of animals. Breeds have been shaped by environmental adaptation and by selection for the jobs people needed them to perform. Breeds are genetic units. Rare breeds are often uniquely adapted to specific environments. They may have useful characteristics not found in other breeds. Having a variety of breeds in each domestic species strengthens the overall health oif the species, and helps people learn about that species, the animal kingdom, the environment, and human cultures. The genetic diversity represented by rare breeds is a necessary resource for the future.

HABITAT LOSS: Domestic species – such as chickens, cows, and horses – are not endangered and will probably never become extinct. Breeds within each of these species, however, may become rare and even extinct. This is due to changes in agriculture, which can be compared to a loss of habitat for wild animal species. Rare breeds help keep small farms viable. Small farms can use rare breeds for sustainable practices. Small farms play important roles in maintaining open space, clean water, and fresh air. The loss of farms that support rare breeds represents both an environmental and cultural loss.

CONSERVATION: Rare breeds should be conserved for all the reasons above: genetic diversity, unique characteristics, adaptation and habitat; and also because they represent a part of our cultural heritage. Rare breeds played a critical role in the establishment of the United States of America. Young people across the U. S. are involved in breed conservation.

Navigating the Guide

Guiding Concepts
The 5E Model
Overview of Units

Noah's Ark Today is property of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.
Copyright 2006.

American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, PO Box 477, Pittsboro, NC 27312