Tuesday, November 19, 2013

New Name and Website!

From the summer 2013 issue of The Livestock Conservancy News

The new homepage of The Livestock Conservancy's website.
Greetings members! We are excited to announce that the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC) has officially shortened our name to simply “The Livestock Conservancy.” In addition, we have launched our new website which includes many new features and a member login area that allows members to update their contact information and Breeders Directory listings. Much thought and hard work has gone into the name change and website redesign and we expect both to benefit the organization and our members. We realized that the previous name was difficult to use for many new members, in advertising, on the phone, communicating to media, etc. due to its length, and with a growing membership and reach, the need for a shorter name was apparent.

We would like to take some time to explain some things regarding these changes and hopefully answer some questions you may have about them. First and foremost, although we will be going by a new name, our mission will remain exactly the same as it has been for the past four decades – “ensuring the future of agriculture through the genetic conservation and promotion of endangered breeds of livestock and poultry.” The sole purpose of shortening the name was to make it easier to use in promoting the organization and our work. Suggestions for a shorter name have been coming into the office for years, but as the organization has been growing (and we prepare for future growth), we realized that now was the time to make the change. In recent years we started to use the acronym ALBC increasingly when referring to the organization which addressed the length issue, but did not help to explain what type of organization we are to people who had never heard of us. For this reason, we will be referring to the organization as “The Livestock Conservancy”, or “the Conservancy” in most cases, instead of “TLC” or “LC.”

In evaluating web statistics, we could see that many people who were searching for us were typing in incorrect names and acronyms, and were having a hard time finding the organization. “The Livestock Conservancy” was actually what some people thought our name was before it had even changed. The shorter name will also allow us to fit the name in many areas we previously could not use it. One example occurred last year when we received a grant from Google for free internet advertising for the organization in their search engine. Because of its length, we could not fit our name in their ads. The new name will also now fit on legal documents, merchandise, and in other areas where we had to abbreviate or omit the name. The new name can also be seen better when used in the logo.

In choosing a shorter name, many different options and word combinations were considered, but The Livestock Conservancy retained much of our brand recognition while addressing the length issue the best. Some concerns were raised about taking “American” out of the name, but because we will still be focusing on breeds historically used in American agriculture and our membership is based in America, we feel that “American” will be implied. There are several similar organizations such as the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (United Kingdom), Pro Specie Rara (The Netherlands), and Stichting Zeldzame Huisdierrassen (Switzerland) that also follow this model. And, while our old name was long, we do realize it was still shorter than our German counterpart, “The Society for the Conservation of Old and Endangered Livestock Breeds in Germany.”

Costs of renaming were also carefully evaluated and to ensure a minimal financial impact on the organization and to avoid waste, we will be using up any brochures, envelopes, etc. with the old name on them before ordering more. We have managed our supplies carefully so our supply of new brochures and renewal envelopes are ready to be printed. We have also received a generous donation from some of our members to create a new traveling display to use at fairs and events and for signs and banners with the new name.

We realize that this is a big change, but it is one that will help the organization become more recognizable, and if more people know about the Conservancy, more people will know about the need to conserve the genetics of the breeds we work with, which helps us further our mission. If you currently reference us on your website, in printed materials, etc. you can begin to update our name and website. A copy of our updated member logo can also be obtained from the website.

New Website

In addition to the new name, our new website, www.livestockconservancy.org is now live! In 2011, a Conservancy member generously donated funds to purchase a new database and website for the organization. Realizing that conservation work is our top priority and we did not have extra funds to spend on these, they kindly covered 100% of costs for the new computer systems. The old website was originally launched 15 years ago and had been pieced together over the years as it grew with the organization. While it contained a wealth of valuable information, it lacked organization and reliability. If you ever had problems renewing your membership, you know what we’re talking about! The new database is already allowing us to process memberships much more efficiently, letting staff time to be directed to better serving our members and conservation work. One exciting new feature is the “Breed Facts” list inside each breed’s page. This highlights characteristics of the breed such as Conservation Status, use, weight, temperament, and experience level needed, among other categories. Please note that due to the massive amount of information being migrated from the old to new website, we are still populating some areas.

The database is also connected to the new website in real-time, allowing members with internet access to log in and update their information as they would like to. Each member has a Member Number (now printed on the back of the newsletter for current members) and an email was sent out with directions to log in to the member area. If you did not receive this email, we may not have an accurate email address on file for you. Please contact rwalker@albc-usa.org to update your information if needed. We would like to thank you in advance for patience as we finish building out the new site and welcome any feedback you may have.

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