Founding of the Grassland Society of Southern Africa

Founding of the Grassland Society of Southern Africa

In 1965 a small committee, comprised of Professor John D Scott, Dr Pieter de V Booysen and Dr Trevor D Steinke, with Mr John Lintner as a co-opted member, was asked to investigate the matter and, if possible, convene a meeting of those interested in the formation of a Grassland Society. This committee investigated the matter and proposed that a meeting of all interested workers should be held at the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg in February 1966. The meeting was attended by 96 delegates and stretched over a period of three or four days. At this meeting a number of papers were read by invitation and a draft constitution for the Society was discussed.

The 96 delegates included Neil Tainton, Peter Edwards, Pete Booysen, Pierre Theron, Rob Drewes, Derek Scotney, Winston Trollope and Aubrey Venter. The Congress has been held each year since 1966 in either January or July, sometimes in collaboration with other societies and organisations, including the International Rangeland Congress in 2003, the South African Society of Animal Scientists, the South African Weed Science Society and the Thicket Forum.

Until 1983, a full proceedings of each Congress was published. Thereafter saw the birth of the Journal of the Grassland Society of Southern Africa which was published quarterly until 1993 when it was reduced to three issues per year. The Journal is currently published under the name of the African Journal of Range and Forage Science. Since its inception publication of work from the Proceedings onwards has been peer-reviewed.

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