Organized in 1896, the Minnesota Livestock Breeders’ Association is an organization composed of 24 of the principal, statewide, purebred livestock associations of all species of livestock: beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, sheep, and horses. These associations currently have a total membership of over 4000 breeders of registered livestock. The organization is dedicated to the promotion of the long-term best interests of livestock breeders and producers and to represent them in the resolution of their common problems.
Over the years, the Association has been active in many important endeavors. In cooperation with the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association, the MLBA was instrumental in the 1903 creation of the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. Each year at the MLBA Annual Meeting, resolutions on issues of vital concern to livestock producers and breeders are adopted, and these policy positions are distributed and publicized. The MLBA has also initiated a pro-active, positively positioned animal welfare program, and through the Minnesota Forum for Animal Agriculture has gained and stimulated the support of many other agricultural groups.
The MLBA has always paid particular attention to the encouragement and guidance of youth. Numerous livestock programs and projects for Minnesota’s youth are conducted and financially supported by the Association. Just a few such examples include financial aid to counties for the purchase of 4-H livestock aids, kits, and materials with which to train project leaders and 4-H members. Prizes and trophies are presented to 4-H and FFA livestock winners at the Fair. Scholarships are provided each year to young people who are interested in pursuing college educational careers in livestock and related livestock enterprises. And of course there is the Minnesota 4-H Purple Ribbon Auction which the MLBA has conducted and financially supported since 1918.