Following a recent Heifer Board meeting in Little Rock, Dr. Devendra sat down with Christian De Vries for a relaxed and candid interview. They discussed a wide range of issues on the development of goats, including: the evolution and importance of IGA, consistent interest and commitment to the development of the species, trends in their multi-functional values, and priorities for the future.
You’ve been involved with IGA since the beginning. How did it start?
“Few people know the background that led to the formation of IGA. It was born during a bus ride for a field excursion, during the 2nd International Goat Conference in Tours, France in 1971.* I made the suggestion to Prof. Christian Gall from Germany who was sitting next to me that that we move to form a professional association to provide information and promote the development of goats. This led to the formation of The World Committee on Goats in which Prof. Gall was made the President and I was elected as the Vice-President, with the Secretariat in France. Since then I have served over a record 17 years as Vice-President, by my own choice, to work with colleagues so that I could play a more effective role in spreading the regional focus and development of goats, assisting the Presidents, and finding venues for the international conferences in which I was directly involved with four.”
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.