The 19th Japan National Goat Summit was held in Minokamo City, Gifu on November 3 - 4, 2017. The theme of the Summit was “Feel, Learn, Work, Connect, and Create through Goats.”
More than 280 goat lovers, including producers, consumers, educators, and scientists from all over Japan got together to share the information of goat utilization, enterprises, products, and management practices. Following the opening remark by Dr. Yayota, Chair of the Summit and welcome addresses by Mr. Imai, President of the Japan Goat Network (JPN) and Mr. Fujii, Mayor of Minokamo City, two keynote speeches were given on “Minokamo Goat Mowing Group Connecting together on the Goat Track” by Mr. Watanabe, Representative of the FRUSIC, and “Goats Came to the Hachiya Elementary School” by Ms. Ido, Former Principal of the Hachiya Elementary School. These speeches confirmed that goat utilization for weed control and educational values of goat for school programs are getting increasing attentions in Japan.
The Minokamo Goat Mowing Group project has been developed by FRUSIC, an agricultural production company. In the past 5 years the project has built a strong regional network, involving the Minokamo City, elementary, junior-high, and high schools, and local Universities, that successfully hosted the Summit.
Mr. Shoji Watanabe, the representative of the FRUSIC, said “we would like to use some of the profit of the project for the students who want to cooperate with us and continue their research.” It was felt that the project would grow more and more in the future.
After the luncheon of the general assembly of the JGN, 15 presentations were given on the various topics; the Agricultural Bureau of the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Livestock Breeding Center introduced the recent target of genetic improvement on Japanese Saanen goats, representatives of Kamonourin (Agricultural) High School students reported their trial of doughnut product development using sweet potatoes grown using goat fertilizers, Dr. Yamazaki, DVM., reported 2nd generation of male goats that “produce milk,” Mr. Matsuda, representative of the Japan Water Agency, reported the case of utilizing goats for maintaining a dam site in Gifu Prefecture, Dr. Tsukahara, board member of the International Goat Association, introduced the history and activities of the IGA, etc. Every presentation was well prepared and implied further potentials of goats in Japan.
During the reception in the evening, attendance enjoyed the local cuisine and conversation with “goat friends” just like friends from way back.
At the second day, technical sessions were held at the Nihon Showa-mura Park. The participants were able to closely learn 1) feeding and management from Mr. Imai, Past President of the JGN who is a very experienced goat producer, 2) hoof trimming, 3) dehorning, 4) simple artificial insemination using fresh semen by goat professionals from the Nagano Station, the National Livestock Breeding Center, 5) electric fencing from the Surge-Miyawaki Corporation, and 6) hygiene control from the Prefectural Livestock Hygiene Service Center. Goat milk candy making by Dr. Hayashi, Professor of Meijo University, was also a popular activity which attracted many participants.
It was fully-packed 2 days of learning and feeling about goats. Many of the participants seemed to be very satisfied with what they learned about goats. The 20th National Goat Summit will be held in the Ibaragi prefecture in fall 2018. The detail will be available at http://japangoat.web.fc2.com.
The International Goat Association promotes goat research and development for the benefit of humankind, to alleviate poverty, to promote prosperity and to improve the quality of life.