However, if you need a dog to move your dairy herd, or help with fall roundup, or manage your flocks, it's a tougher job. The ABCA is trying to help on the one hand by supporting the activities of the USBCHA, and local trials through the Promotional Fund, but I don't think we've been as effective in supporting farmers and ranchers and reaching out to them. I suspect that many of them who use dogs, know where to get them, but there are many more who probably could use dogs and don't for lack of resources in finding them, finding training (human and dog) and that may be an area we need to focus more attention on.
As someone who came to the breed from a farm background, this really resonated with me. I am part of this target audience. I started Missy on four bum lambs after reading the John Holmes book (I think that was the one). I had no mentors, no resources, no clue about the nuances of a working Border Collie. I just had a dog with some talent and a strong personal desire to learn. FWIW, I still don't understand half the sheepdog lingo. I read the training section and have to figure out what exactly some of the terms mean.
So here's my two cents on reaching this audience -
Utilize Fiber Festivals. Lots of them have demos which the public finds interesting. But these could go a step further. Lots of farmers/flock owners attend these. Why not have clinics at festivals? Many of them take place on fairgrounds and have arenas that could be utilized.
Advertise the clinics that are put on - in places where farmers will find them! I'm still not completely sure about how one finds a clinic. I'm pretty sure that some must take place in the state of Michigan at times, but I sure don't know about them. Maybe I'm just not be on the right email list or look on the right group or forum?
Have grants that farmers can apply for to help cover the cost of a clinic.
Do write-ups for farming publications. Reading through the finals blog there were several great contributions by competitors who use the dogs in their livestock operations. If you could contribute articles like those to farming publications, you could show the target audience how a Border Collie would help them.
To best preserve the breed you got to preserve the need for the breed. The breed will always be needed by those who can appreciate and utilize it's talents.