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!
During this time of isolation, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past year. We have seen the rising prominence of the goat sector globally. The number of animals continues to climb over 1 billion, mainly in Africa and Asia. Consumption of goat milk products is growing, especially in middle and high-income countries, and the “functional food” segment like yogurt and kefir is especially strong. Demand for goat meat also grows as more people can afford to consume animal products, and the market for luxury fibers like cashmere and mohair is also rising.
Research to help producers and to develop new goat products is also increasing. The diversity of research topics is evident in Small Ruminant Research, IGA’s scientific journal, at https://www.journals.elsevier.com/small-ruminant-research. Also, mainstream animal and food science journals are publishing more about goats and their products than ever before. There is an increased study of the goat genome, and the search for desirable genetic traits, in both locally adapted indigenous goats, and high performing commercial breeds. The FAO/OIE Global Eradication Programme to eradicate Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) by 2030 has brought increased attention to infectious diseases in goats, and also to improved animal health delivery systems, especially in marginalized rural communities. (https://www.oie.int/en/animal-health-in-the-world/ppr-portal/).
IGA is an essential link between goat producers facing nutritional, genetic, health, marketing, and environmental challenges, and new technical tools and policies necessary for improvement. In addition to our scientific journal SRR, the IGA website (https://www.iga-goatworld.com/ ) offers a wealth of information and internet links to books, articles, websites, online courses, data, and projects that connect you to what’s happening across the global goat community. IGA is a member of two important global initiatives impacting small ruminants: the SMARTER research network (https://www.smarterproject.eu/ ), and the PPR Eradication Advisory Council, and Research and Expertise Network.
National, regional, and international conferences are one of the best ways to share information and develop new collaborations. We are happy to report that a record number of meetings and workshops on goats or small ruminants have taken place in the past two years, due to the tireless efforts of the IGA Board, our Scientific Committee, and the Regional Directors and Country Representatives (https://www.iga-goatworld.com/country_representatives.html). These include the 1st Asian Regional Conference on Goats [ARCG] (India, 2018), the 2nd ARCG (Nepal, 2019), XI Congress of the Latin American Association of Specialists in Small Ruminants (Mexico, 2019), European College of Small Ruminant Health Management [ECSRHM], (Poland, 2019), the Ontario Small Ruminant Veterinary Conference (Canada, 2019), the 3rd National Conference on Goats (USA, 2018), the 4th Asian-Australasian Dairy Goat Conference (Vietnam, 2018), World Goat Day (Iran, 2017) and many more. The proceedings for these and other goat related conferences are available on the IGA website, along with announcements of upcoming meetings. It’s not too late to send us links to other proceedings; just write to firstname.lastname@example.org!
As we face the future together, please remember that IGA is a membership organization, and we need you to join as individuals or as institutions. Together we can strengthen the goat sector in all countries for the benefit of humankind. We know that you value the IGA website, Newsletter, Facebook page, and Twitter, and we need your support to continue these benefits.
We wish all of you good health, prosperity, and peace.
Beth A. Miller
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.