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"Experientia docet" - Experience is the best teacher

Dear Fellow SASAS members
The current year has been quite eventful and was punctuated with a number of notable events that are worth remembering. First and foremost, I should hasten to express my sincere appreciation for the trust bestowed on the new Council recently ushered during our successful congress in Bloemfontein in June 2019. Thank you for exercising your responsibility as dedicated members of our esteemed society in electing a capable leadership that is ready to serve. It is equally fitting that I should acknowledge the wonderful efforts of the previous Council under the leadership of Prof Esté Van Marle-Köster. Her leadership was admirable.
The Free State Branch also presented a memorable congress that has seen the society keeping an upward trajectory in the number of delegates. The congress had a healthy balance between local and international invited speakers. We are indebted to the selfless contributions of the many people that have availed their time in organising the congress. This bodes well for the society and therefore a word of appreciation is in order.

On a rather sad note, the society lost one of its greatest servants in Prof Voster Muchenje of the University of Fort Hare. He will be truly remembered for his immense contribution particularly in the providing outstanding editorial services as shown by the rapid increase in the number of articles submitted and published in our journal. His dedication and love for his science is something to be emulated by all. He was an exemplary scientist in the true sense of the word. We are eternally indebted to his family. May his soul rest in peace.

On a positive note, I am happy to inform you that the Council appointed Prof Michael MacNeil as the new Editor-In-Chief for the South African Journal for Animal Science from 1 August 2019. Prof MacNeil is a native of the United State and brings immense editorial experience having worked with a number of highly ranked international journals. I am pleased to welcome him and wish him well in this new and exciting responsibility. It will be greatly appreciated if you could provide him with all the support needed to effectively discharge his responsibility.

Lastly, the Council will be relying on your expertise and volunteerism in ensuring that the society makes its marked contribution in providing solutions to animal agriculture for the benefit of our nation and the continent.

Points of interest accruing from the last council meetings
The new SASAS Council (with portfolios):
Prof A. Maiwashe (President, Congress and branches committee), Mr K. Ramsay (Honorary President), Dr T.J. Dugmore (Vice-President, Governance committee), Prof M.L. Makgahlela (Public Relations committee), Prof J.B.J. van Ryssen (Executive Secretary), Dr F-H de Witt (Professional Development committee), Dr C. Mapiye (Publications committee), Prof K.A. Nephawe (Education committee), Dr N.B. Nengovhela (Awards committee), Ms N. Snyman (Professional Development committee), Prof E. van Marle-Köster (Ex- Officio).

Frequency of Congresses
This issue was referred to council by the AGM, and council decided that congresses must be held annually, i.e. there will be a congress in 2020. Branches could propose the structure or format of the congress (e.g. joint congress with other societies or industry bodies) for consideration and final approval by the Council provided that such a proposal advances the objectives of the society.

Membership issues
 Membership fee for full members for 2020 has been increased by R 50.00, totalling R 900.00. Fees for the other membership categories remain unchanged;
 Retired members will pay in future the same registration fee for SASAS congresses as student members;
 The CPD committee for Animal Science is focusing on the Candidate Mentorship programme for young animal scientists.
 It has been noted that members are experiencing challenges with the new online payment system for membership (PayFast). Council resolved that a “how-to” manual will be developed and shared with members to facilitate the payment process.

The David Uys Trophy for 2018 was presented at the Gala dinner to the authors of the article: S. Washaya, J. Mupangwa & V. Muchenje., 2018. Chemical composition of Lablab purpureus and Vigna unguiculata and their subsequent effects on methane production in Xhosa lop-eared goats. S. Afr. J. Anim. Sci. 48, 445-458.

Student postgraduate bursary: Ms M.A. (Michaela) Boshoff of the University of Stellenbosch.

Medal recipients for 2018 and 2019, presented at the Congress Gala dinner
Bronze Medal
Dr C.J.L. (Linde) du Toit (2018); Mr P.T. Muvhali (2018); Ms R.A. Engels (2019); Dr J.dV. (Joseph) van Wyngaard (2019)
Silver Medal
Mr Keith Ramsay (2018); Mr Heiko Köster (2019)
Gold Medal
Dr J.J. (Buks) Olivier (2019)

Winners of the student competition for the best paper presentation at the 2019 SASAS Congress
The purpose of this award is to award the outstanding presentation of science by students in short papers at the SASAS Congress, without regard to discipline or sophistication. The prizes are sponsored by Dr Mike MacNeil for Delta G in the USA.
First prize
Ms N T Chabalala – University of South Africa; Agricultural Research Council – Animal Production.
Title: The blue water footprint of primary beef production systems in South Africa
Second Prize
Mr S S M Nkabinde – University of Pretoria; Southern African Grain Laboratory.
Title: Intrinsic factors contributing to variation in the AMEn value of maize for broiler chickens
Third Prize
Ms S Mdyogolo – University of the Free State; Agricultural Research Council – Animal Production.
Title: Linkage disequilibrium and characterization of haplotype blocks in South African Brahman and Afrikaner breeds using medium and high-density genotypes

South African Journal of Animal Science (SAJAS)
 The Impact Factor of SAJAS for 2018 is 0.653.
Based on the method of calculating an impact factor, the high IF of 2017 (0.981) could be attributed largely to the large number of citations (316) that SAJAS received from the publishing of the special issue in 2013: “A balanced perspective on animal production, from environment to human health”. This emphasizes the advantage in terms of IF of publishing review articles.
Members are encouraged to submit review articles for publication.
 For SAJAS to qualify as an Open Access journal, a plagiarism check is compulsory. This check will be done on each submitted article.
 2019 is the last year that hard copies of SAJAS will be printed. Quite a number of surplus printed copies of issues are available, and members are invited to contact the secretariat for copies to complete their collection or those of the libraries in their organizations.

Applied Animal Husbandry & Rural Development (AAH&RD)
To get AAH&RD accredited with the Department of Higher Education and Training, at least 10 articles per volume (year) for five years have to be published in a volume. Members are urged to support this journal and submit contributions.
Kindest regards
Prof Norman Maiwashe
President: South African Society for Animal Science (SASAS)

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