The 18th Japan National Summit, entitled “Ecological Life and Agriculture with Goats,” took place on November 12-13, 2016 in Aso, Kumamoto. The Aso area was severely damaged by the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake with a magnitude 6.2 foreshock on April 14 followed by a magnitude 7.0 main-shock on April 15, which killed more than 50 people and evacuated 44,000.
The organizers faced difficulties in implementation of the Summit this year; however, they decided to make the Summit as a symbol of recovery. With their strong tie and efforts, the Summit was successfully conducted. Despite harsh accessibility due to reconstruction and damaged roads, the Summit welcomed more than 280 participants from all over the country.
Keynote lectures were made by Ayumi Kotani, an aglicultural journalist, who spoke on “Diversity and Complementarity of Goats,” and Masaharu Manda, Professor Emeritus at the Kagoshima University, who spoke on “Goats that support livelihood.” The 4 invited lectures were:
After the plenary session, 6 section meetings were held in areas of:
Presenters were divided into each meeting and participants selected a meeting according to their interests. In each session, there were more questions and answers, as well as deeper discussions.
The evening social program included a buffet style dinner with hot-pot, sushi, and local vegetables. Interactions, discussions, and meeting with new people lasted until midnight. The programs the following morning were practicing hoof trimming and artificial insemination using simple equipment, which was led by technicians from the Nagano Station of the National Livestock Breeding Center.
During the Summit, a goat picture contest was held and every single participant voted best 3 pictures among 100 pictures. The best picture got the prize was # 9, “Pregnancy Exercise of Saanen Does.”
Exhibits included goat products, grazing equipment, and electric fences, as well as does and kids from the Asagiri-Seiryu project. The Asagiri-Seiryu project has been promoting goat production and utilization in Asagiri Town, Kumamoto. They sell goat milk, promote goat meat consumption, and utilize goats for weed control, animal therapy, and juvenile education. You can visit their website at http://asagiri-seiryu.com for more details.
Yuko Takahashi, IMA Cheese Factory, sold his “Chaus-Dake Chevre.” He is a cheese producer at Ima Farm, Nasu Kogen, Tochigi. He had learned goat cheese making in Germany in 2011 and is now producing high quality cheeses in his factory with his wife Yukari who is also an excellent cheese producer. Yuko has been honored as a Guild International of Fromage in November 2016, following his wife Yukari who received it in April, 2016.
Yagi Sakura Farm (Goat and Cherry Farm) exhibited and sold the “Goat Perfect Soap” and “Goat Natural Cream (moisture cream).” The farm is from the Aso area, owned by Kensho Futagoishi
Other exhibitors were the Agricultural Technology Center, Shimane, which showed grazing equipment, Surge Miyawaki K.K., an electric fence dealer in Tokyo and others. Participants enjoyed their products and to interact with the Exhibitors.
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.