Written by Dr. Sandra Solaiman
World Goat Day took place in Karaj, Iran on September 18-19, 2017. This was a memorable event as Iran is the site where domestication of goat started more than 8-10,000 years ago. More than 1,000 producers, villagers, goat keepers, members of tribal communities, agriculture-related industries, students, extension agents, scientists, researchers, national and international dignitaries, as well as governmental agencies including the honorable Minister and 3 Vice Ministers of agriculture (livestock affairs, Planning and economics, research, education and extension) attended the event and participated to show their support.
The campus of Animal Science Research Institute of Iran, Karaj was decorated by colorful tents representing 7 tribal communities from different parts of Iran. Alborz Tribe, from North Central, Semnan Tribe, from North, South Khorasan Tribe, from Northeast, Khuzestan Tribe, from Southwest, Kerman Tribe from South, Chahar Mahall and Bakhtiari Tribe and Fars Tribe from south-central Iran were represented. These tribes were invited at their own expense and together made the event exciting and colorful, through their contribution of arts and crafts, food and beverage, and showing us the way of their lives. Their functionality, high spirit, hospitality, and kindness impressed me. Without their presence, this event would not have been the same.
Almost all the major indigenous goat breeds were represented and they were housed separately for biosecurity purposes. Proud selected goat farmers and villagers brought their show goats and shared their beautiful goats with the participants. They were awarded for producing prize-winning goats, and I was honored to participate in the award ceremony.
Dignitaries from different countries including Armenia, Argentina, Australia, France, India, Kenya, Turkey and the U.S. were present and shared their experiences with the audience. Numerous seminars and workshop topics dealing with Iranian indigenous goat breeds, breeding and selection, reproductive management, feeding management, sustainable agriculture, low input agriculture, etc. were conducted and well attended by producers, goat keepers, tribal and pastoral producers, as well as scientists and researchers, and most importantly outreach personnel and students.
This was an example of a job well done. I know many, many people made this happen, but above all Dr. Farhad Mirzaei worked tirelessly and, with the great support of his team, made this event successful.
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.