The motivation for a conference on goats in Norway was based on two wishes. One wish was to welcome international experts on goats to a regional IGA conference in Norway, and the second was to finalize a national scientific project on goat milk quality with a conference on this topic. These two whishes were merged together and the idea was supported by the IGA Board.
The Regional IGA Conference on Goat Milk Quality took place in Tromsoe, Norway 4-6 June 2013. Organizers in collaboration with IGA were Bioforsk (Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research), UMB (Norwegian University of Life Sciences and Tine (Norwegian dairy cooperative). 70 attendants (speakers included) was a little less than we had hoped for, but was a good number when you consider that travel costs, food, etc. are rather high in Tromsoe. Located in the arctic region of Norway, Tromsoe is where you find the northernmost agriculture in the world.
The event started with a pre-conference tour on 3 June. A group took a trip by bus and boat to Senja Island. The participants were extremely unlucky about the weather – the only foggy day this summer, still no complaints!
Venue for the conference was at the University of Tromsoe. The first day’s program was based on presentations from invited speakers. The second day’s program was on presentations and posters based on submitted abstracts. It was partly in concurrent sessions, and with a short session for poster presentations. The conference topic was presented from different aspects, for example feeding, grazing, breeding and health. Presentations are available at the conference website http://geithold.no/g2013/
The last day’s program was a tour by bus to Malangen. The attendants visited a traditional goat farm and had a meeting with the director of the regional dairy factory. Fortunately, the weather that day was splendid!
As organizers, we are happy that the attendants in general expressed satisfaction with the conference. For us, it is very important that the IGA president (Juan Capote) and one vice-president (Lucia Sepe) expressed satisfaction with the organization, scientific level and the atmosphere of the conference. One important lesson we learned and that should be considered by future organizers of regional conferences is to focus on a limited conference topic instead of a wide inclusion.
We want to thank all our supporters and those who attended for making this a great experience for us.
Odd Arild Finnes
IGA Board of Directors