The International Goat Association (IGA) was organized on January 12, 1982 during the Third International Conference on Goats in Tucson, Arizona, USA. Approximately 160 persons from 42 countries attended the organization meetings. Organization was unanimously approved with Warren C. Foote as interim chairman and subsequently president and Kent Leach as secretary-treasurer. A board of directors was subsequently elected consisting of Jean G. Boyazoglu, C. Devendra, Christian Gall, George F. W. Haenlein, Peter Holst, Pierre Morand-Fehr, Maurice Shelton and Clair E. Terrill. IGA has continued to expand in its influence and service during its first twenty years. IGA is unique in providing sustained international focus on a single species of animals and promoting its usefulness for the good of humankind. It has succeeded through three primary objectives: (1) Fostering the use of goats to provide for the needs of humankind; (2) Encouraging research with and development of goats to increase their productivity and usefulness throughout the world; (3) Perpetuating the International Conferences on Goats. IGA has effectively encouraged and assisted the development of science and technology of goats and their application. IGA’s challenges in the future include to remain focused on its initial objectives; to maintain its place and role in international leadership; and to remain an independent but collaborative force in a world of shifting politics and economies, increasing numbers of GO’s and NGO’s and exploding technology – to continue to speak with singleness of purpose and direction.