Grasslands cover 27% of the world’s land area and 70% of agricultural land. They form an important foundation for agriculture and livestock husbandry and contribute to the livelihoods of more than 800 million people. The International Grassland Congress (IGC) began as a meeting of a small group of forage researchers in Europe in 1927. It has now expanded into a gathering held every 3-5 years with over 1000 delegates from 80+ countries who represent research, extension, and primary production. The newly released IGC history provides not only an overview of the IGC Congress over the last 93 years, but highlights the people, events and changes in grassland agriculture around the world during this period. This current edition is an expansion and update of ‘A Brief History of the International Grassland Congress’ presented at the XX IGC in Ireland in 2005 by Professor Ross Humphreys, Australia. The authors have worked diligently to highlight the major individuals that shaped the IGC since its inception, including excerpts of presentations by world grassland leaders. They even included part of the welcome address from Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who was President of the XIII IGC held in Reading, United Kingdom, in 1960. The IGC History describes the two Congresses held in the United States, the XI IGC in State College, PA in 1952 and the XIV IGC in Lexington, KY in 1981. It also provides details on the formation of the Forage and Grassland Foundation by Dr. John Baylor and Mr. Warren Thompson (Kentucky) from the $100,000 profit of the XIV Congress.

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An on-demand presentation at the American Forage and Grassland Council (AFGC) 2021 Virtual Conference.