Swiss Village Farm Foundation Shakes Up Your Food Diversity

Thanks to Dorrance “Dodo” Hamilton’s work, small-scale traditional farms reep benefits.

photos courtesy of swiss village farm foundation

Dorrance​ “Dodo” Hamilton

Founder and trustee, Swiss Village Farm Foundation

SVF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting diversity in food systems, specifically through the collection and cryopreservation of genetic material of endangered and heritagelivestock breeds. The unique program has been underway for more than 12 years and now includes 77,000 samples of genetic material from more than 30 different endangered breeds. SVF’s work benefits the country’s small-scale, traditional farms, which tend to have an array of crops and livestock, allowing for genetic diversity in agriculture and protecting our food system.

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green initiatives: SVF has been collaborating with the University of Pennsylvania in a study of the genetic diversity in heritage breeds of pigs. The goal is to raise swine in a more humane, open-housing system. (Commercial breeds don’t produce well when they interact with one another, but their heritage counterparts thrive in herd settings.) 

local bragging rights: Hamilton is involved in the construction of the new Valley Forge Flowers in Eagle Village Shops, which utilizes geothermal cisterns, LEED-certified lighting, and reclaimed building materials. 

green dream: To continue SVF’s success and keep educating the public about the importance of supporting heritage breeds in the marketplace. “This project allows small farms to have the opportunity to utilize all the genetics and interesting breeds our forefathers had to choose from,” says SVF program director Sarah Bowley.


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