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Welcome to USYAKS. USYAKS is a non-profit 501©5 organization started in 2018 by yak breeders from across the country to provide:

A yak registry which is totally based on the DNA of the yak to be registered.  Conformation and breeding program history are not considered. Whether a yak can be registered or not is based solely on the percent of cattle introgression and presence/absence of cattle mitochondrial DNA as determined by a DNA analysis of the yak.

An organization that was focused working to address the needs of yak breeders as defined by the breeders.  As such all “Board Meetings” are open to the membership during which they are invited to participate in the discussions and to bring their issues to the Board for all to work on. The goal is to be a “member driven” organization.

Please take the time to read the Vision and Values of USYAKS. Contact us if you have questions. And join us in building a community of Yak Breeders that “has each other’s back”.


 US Yaks is a community of yak owners committed to:​

Raising awareness about the merits of yak to the public.

Preserving the diversity and purity of yak through science.

Providing resources for ensuring the well-being of all yak.

This is done through a member-centric structure that promotes a very high level of organizational transparency and works to foster relationship-building amongst yak owners on a national, regional and local basis.


Establishing Core Principles within an organization helps that organization to remain grounded and focused on accomplishing the Vision of the organization.  US Yaks hereby establishes these Core Principles to support our Vision statement:

COMMUNITY:  This is to build camaraderie and networking amongst yak owners through the national US Yaks organization, but also through the development of more regional and local chapters of US Yaks.  These entities will strive to:

  • providing a conduit for relationship-building between yak owners. This fosters friendships and a greater willingness to work together to develop business opportunities, idea sharing, or referrals to other farms, when needed.

  • organizing events such as yak shows and member get-togethers.

  • share ideas and best practices amongst yak owners.

  • provide a larger group than just one farm for economies of scale and to negotiate prices, especially in areas such as meat production and fiber processing, or to go in together on advertising or joint marketing. This could even take the form of local co-ops or consortiums.


INTEGRITY:  This is a broad Principle that serves as the backbone of building an animal registry, but also speaks to how members should treat each other and their animals, and how US Yaks should treat the overall membership and the general public.  This is done through:

  • OPERATION OF A YAK REGISTRY that is void of bias, personal agendas, and favoritism.

    • A member does not need to have registered animals to be a member.

    • However, a registered animal is required to have the US Yaks-sanctioned genetic test performed at a cost to the owner.

    • The full results of each genetic test will be assigned to each animal and will be fully visible to all members via the membership website. Other information about the animal (e.g. pictures, ear tag numbers, etc.) may be required, but will NOT have a bearing on the class / category the animal is placed into.

    • US Yaks sets guidelines as to what constitutes a yak based on genetic testing, and may have various classes / categories of yak based on genetic test information. But determination of what class / category that animal falls within is based SOLELY on the raw data results of the genetic test.

    • Each member agrees to abide by that scientific determination of class / category assign to his/her animal.

  • COMMITMENT BY MEMBERS TO INCORPORATE BEST-BREEDING PRACTICES to encourage as much genetic diversity as possible and to reduce in-breeding, while working to keep the yak population as pure yak as possible. Hybrid animals can be accepted for registry, but must always be marketed and identified as such by using the assigned class / category designation.

  • ORGANIZATIONAL TRANSPARENCY where the full membership always has access to the same information as the organization’s leadership has by way of communication and direct participation.

    • All organizational documents are posted to the member website as soon as possible. This includes: meeting notices, agendas, and minutes from the Board of Directors (BOD) and committees, as well as any reports given to the BOD by any admin staff / directors.  This includes regular financial documents that may include cash flow statements, bank account statements or other financial documents that are deemed appropriate and/or that a significant number of the membership wish to see.

    • All BOD meetings can be listened into live by all members, and when appropriate and time allows, Q&A sessions can be held either before or after a meeting for a set length of time.

    • Using voting technology, allow for the full membership to vote on as many “big decisions” as possible that weigh on the direction of the organization, but still allow the BOD to carry out the execution of those big organizational decisions.

    • Strive towards leadership and committee diversity in terms of having a good mix of farm/ranch sizes, geographic location, years of experience, and male/female representation. Work to get new members involved

  • MEMBER INTEGRITY refers to how members represent animals to US Yaks, fellow members, and to the public. This generally follows the Golden Rule of doing unto others as you’d want done to you.  It also includes a commitment by each member to treat their animals humanely with a high level of care and respect.  This may be outlined as part of a future Code of Ethics document, but such a document would need to be ratified by the overall membership and cannot be simply instituted by the BOD.


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