Written by Beth Miller, past president of IGA (2016-2021)
I learned many things from my decades of friendship with Dr. Pu Jiabi. He was my first friend from China, and a masterful tour guide, with an incredibly detailed knowledge of local history. Although he was already a well-established and respected veteran of the Animal Husbandry Bureau in Sichuan, China, he wanted to know how animals were managed in other settings and to create novel approaches for the Chinese situation. He was always curious and wanted to learn as much as possible about every new place he visited.
Dr. Pu was passionate about combining goats and training to raise people from poverty to security. He was committed to the mission of the IGA and felt that greater attention to goats could create opportunities for resource-poor people everywhere, especially in Asia. He supported Heifer’s sponsorship of IGA to bring greater recognition of goats as a critical and valuable resource. As an energetic Board member and leader, Dr. Pu was instrumental in organizing the 6th International Conference on Goats in Beijing, China, in 1996. He served as IGA Regional Director for Asia and as an IGA Board member from 1994 to 2002.
I remember Dr. Pu as a visionary leader and a tireless experimenter, but most of all as a great friend who always made me feel welcome. His enduring legacy is his many students rising to leadership positions in Animal Husbandry and thousands of rural people who enjoy greater prosperity from his work with Heifer China.
The end of any year is a good time for reflection and assessment, but this has been a year like no other. We have all been touched by the COVID-19 pandemic, and many of us have lost family, friends, and colleagues. As more people worked from home and faced recurring travel restrictions, IGA members, and Board endeavored to provide more online content and opportunities. The feedback so far has been enthusiastic, with requests for more content in more languages, and we agree! Check the website or social media for updates. And please share any new content from your institution or country! Thank you.
The International Goat Association typically holds the International Goat Conference every four years, but COVID required that we postpone it. The new dates are October 3-8, 2021, and it will still be in Eger, Hungary, but check the IGA website for updates. Here is the ICG Conference website: www.icg2020.org.
The IGA Board of Directors held two virtual meetings this year, on March 24 and October 2, plus a Strategic Planning meeting on December 7. I give special thanks to all of the Board members who have agreed to extend their terms an additional year due to COVID and who also participated in our online and Zoom discussions with great enthusiasm and insight. The new IGA Strategic Plan will be posted on the website once finalized, and it will guide us through the changing world we will find in 2021 and onwards. I want to commend the Strategic Planning Committee, chaired by Davinia Sánchez, and committee members Jean-Marie Luginbuhl, Dilip Bhandari, and Paula Menzies for guiding this crucial process for IGA to increase activity, visibility, and impact.
Dear IGA Friends and Family,
I am delighted to announce that we have adopted a new logo and will be updating the IGA website to give it a fresh new look!
The updated website will be more engaging and more straightforward to navigate and serve us well for many years. You will see changes happen on our website throughout October. Please join me in thanking Christian De Vries for the beautiful design and improved functionality of our website.
We also wish to thank Evans Torres for assisting us with the IGA website redesign and for our excellent new logo. To learn more about Evans, click here.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on all of us, so we hope that this news will be a bright spot in a challenging year.
We believe IGA will be well-positioned to be the leader on all goat related activities in the post-COVID world.
Beth A. Miller, DVM
International Goat Association
Message from the IGA President
Greetings to the IGA Community! We hope that you are safe and well.
The current COVID-19 crisis has created extraordinary changes in our world. We know the dangers of infectious diseases and the need to prevent exposure. It has become challenging to plan any large gathering, so rather than put people at risk unnecessarily, the IGA Board decided to postpone the 13th International Conference on Goat.
A new date has not been chosen. We will continue to monitor the situation and hope to announce the change soon.
Unfortunately, because the 13th ICG is postponed, elections for the new Board will be delayed. When a new date for the conference is selected, we will send out an official call for nominations. Any IGA member in good standing (meaning their membership dues are up-to-date) can be nominated to serve a four-year term. Check our website regularly for more information in the coming days and months!
COVID-19 update from Beth Miller
As we find ourselves in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I extend wishes of good health and safety to all our colleagues and their families around the world. IGA is a GLOBAL network, and more than ever, we can reflect on the importance of our international connections for research, agricultural production, trade, and friendship. We are in this together.
Many of us are working from home and are living under travel and other restrictions to prevent infection. The coming weeks and months will need contributions from all of us as individuals, institutions, and governments to recover from this unprecedented calamity.
Please note that many of the conferences and training programs listed on our website may be delayed or canceled. Please contact us immediately if you have updates or corrections.
IGA is still “open for business,” and we remain connected via the internet. Now is an excellent time to explore all that our website has to offer, from Proceedings of past conferences to free online books, manuals, and other publications.
Be safe and be well!
As scientists, we know the dangers of infectious diseases, and the need to prevent exposure. As people, we understand the terrible isolation resulting from travel restrictions, and the fear from hearing of new cases. All of us understand that travel is the best learning experience, and makes our research and policies more robust and effective. For now, we accept the limitations on travel to and from China, but we also know that we will be able to visit with you again in the future.
Please know that your IGA friends and colleagues from around the word eagerly await the end of the outbreak, and the development of new tools for prevention and treatment, both in China and the other countries where new cases are being discovered such as Italy, Korea and Iran. Now more than ever, we can see the need for global cooperation so our countries and our families can thrive.
We commend the Chinese people on your patience and strength while facing this unprecedented situation. I look forward to returning to a time with safe and easy travel within and between countries. May you all enjoy good health and a quick return to a normal life, and working to advance goat health and production!
As more countries become affected, we ask IGA's Board members, Country Representatives, and Regional Directors to add their own messages of support on Facebook and Twitter.
Announcement – 5th Asian-Australasian Dairy Goat Conference (AADGC) 2020, August 20-22, Thailand
Goat Milk: a Naturally Innovative Prescription for
Better Humans and Animals Health
This conference will take place at the OTOP Building, Nonthaburi Provincial Administrative Organization (NPAO), Nonthaburi, Thailand.
Timeline for paper submission and registration:
Abstract submission will be opened on February 20th, 2020
Full paper submission will be opened on May 20th, 2020
Call for papers
All participants intending to present scientific papers (oral or poster) at the AADGC 2020 conference will be got the peer review by the Scientific Committee and then the accepted papers will be published in the conference proceedings. A maximum of two papers are allowed from each registered participant.
Second Meeting of the PPR-GREN, Kenya
Considering the high importance of sheep and goats for the livelihood of the small farmers, and considering that Peste des petits ruminants (PPR), an important infectious disease and killer of those animals, has dramatically spread as of mid- year 2000 to reach more than 70 countries, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) launched the PPR Global Control and Eradication Strategy (PPR-GCES), taking lessons from the success of the Global Rinderpest Eradication that was achieved officially in 2011. Additionally, it has been recognized in recent years that PPR could also affects wild ruminant populations, impacting biodiversity conservation. The PPR-GCES, which aims to eradicate PPR by 2030, was endorsed by participants at the International Conference on PPR organized in April 2015 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The PPR-GCES is being implemented through the PPR Global Eradication Programme (PPR GEP) coordinated at the global level by the Joint FAO/OIE PPR Secretariat which was established in March 2016. To assist and advise the Secretariat, an Advisory Committee was established in June 2017. In addition to the Secretariat and the Advisory Committee, a third governance structure was foreseen in PPR-GCES: the Global Research and Expertise Network (PPR-GREN) which is expected to be a forum for scientific and technical consultations/discussions. Indeed, although excellent vaccines and disease diagnostic tests exist currently for immediate and effective implementation of PPR eradication programme (s), the need to encourage and support PPR research activities which results might help in refining PPR eradication programme (s) for better efficiency and for speeding up the course of the campaigns was foreseen in the PPR-GCES.
The Asian Regional Conference on Goats has just concluded and was an incredible success.
The conference was held from October 20th to 23rd in Chitwan, Nepal, with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Department of Livestock Services, Nepal Agricultural Research Council, Heifer International Nepal, and University Grants Commission.
The main aim of the conference was to gather researchers, academicians, and development entities to exchange knowledge and technologies generated in the field of goat research and development across the globe.
To learn more, visit the conference website: afu.edu.np/vet/arcg2019.
IGA is pleased to join the SMARTER Stakeholder Committee, to provide insight and feedback from the new “Small Ruminant Breeding for Efficiency and Resilience.” It is a new European and international initiative funded by the EU that will use genomic selection across countries. It will make selection for traits conferring efficiency and resilience both faster and more efficient. SMARTER will also characterize the phenotype and genome of traditional and underutilized breeds. Finally, SMARTER will propose new breeding strategies that utilize these traits and trade-offs and balance economic, social and environmental challenges.
Please visit the SMARTER website, and sign up for the free newsletter: https://www.smarterproject.eu/
Beth A. Miller, DVM
President, International Goat Association
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.