IAAS members all over the world celebrate the IAAS 60th Birthday this year!
To read about their celebration day on the 21st of March 2017, you can check out the report: www.iaasworld.org/worldwide-celebration-of-the-iaas-60th-birthday.

How did IAAS started 60 years ago?


IAAS was established in a decade in which nations all over the world were still recovering from the harsh devastation and suffering resulting from the Second World War. However, young people strongly fostered hope for progress, peace and stability. Students in the field of agriculture decided to come together and create a new international student platform by establishing IAAS more than half a century ago 1957 in Tunis.

In this decade, students from all disciplines started to acknowledge their role as agents of change in society, and decided to come together to share values. They realised that only by sharing diversity, they could really cooperate to build a better world, a world in peace, harmony and freedom. Thats why AIESEC, IAESTE, IFMSA, IVSA and IAAS have been established in less than one decade.

The early beginning


Year of establishment

1957 was the real beginning of the IAAS, which was then called AIEA (Association Internationale des Etudiants en Agriculture) and had French as the working language.

Independent from the decisions made during the international meeting in Paris, the Students council from the Netherlands (NSR) also planned to organise an international seminar on agriculture from 22 till 29 June 1957. Around December 1956, NSR (Netherlands) and UGET (Tunis) got to know about each other’s plans and this caused a conflict. UGET didn’t like the idea of having two international seminars so close to each other. However, several careful and diplomatic dialogues per mail, and a meeting in Leiden (the Netherlands) on 15–16 March 1957, resulted in a cooperation and a tight friendship between Tahar Belkhodja (president of UGET) and R. van den Berg (president of NSR). The NSR decided to cancel its congress in Wageningen in favour of the one in Tunis and to cooperate intensively with UGET. It seems to be just an anecdote, but there are reasons to believe that this cooperation between The Netherlands and Tunisia was crucial for the continuity of IAAS in the first years. When the Dutch cancelled their seminar, they asked all participants to come to the seminar in Tunis instead. This seminar turned out to be the founding World Congress of IAAS and Germany, Finland, The Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia and of course Tunisia were the participating countries. A few other countries attended the congress as observers. Mr. Tahar Belkhodge (Tunisia) was elected as President and Mr. Fehr (France) was elected as Secretary General.

Also, the Dutch students were well prepared to organize a seminar in the Netherlands in 1958, which became the second world congress of IAAS.

Chronology of the annual World Congresses

New members: Belgium, Denmark, France, Sweden
Special event: The Exchange Program was created.

New member: Israel

New members: Austria, Great Britain, Nigeria, Portugal

New member: Yugoslavia

Special event: Executive Committee of the association formed by the President, Vice President and Secretary General, working in headquarters in Leuven (Belgium), also Control Committee formed by four members and national representatives elected

New members: Italy, Spain

Special event: First issue of the JOINT, an IAAS Magazine edited by the Secretary General and a board; few issues every year

New member: Ireland

Special event: First time a Responsible Meeting held at half term in Wageningen

New members: Hungary, Poland
Special event: Opening of an IAAS Information office in Sweden and IAAS got liaison status with the FAO as first cooperation with an international body next to other students associations

New member: India

Special event: Development Fund created to assist members with fewer opportunities to attend our meetings, originally with support of the FAO

New member: Uganda

New member: Sudan

New members: Kenya, Togo

New member: Liberia

New member: Zambia

New members: Ghana, Tanzania

New member: Egypt

Special event: First time to mention the formation of permanent working groups

New member: Benin

New member: Thailand

Special event: WOCAs created as Working Camps aiming at linking the theoretical aspect of our academic education with more practical experience

New candidate member: Indonesia
Special event: first WOCAs took place in Hungary and Portugal

New members: Guatemala, Armenia, Latvia, Croatia, Sri Lanka

New candidate members: Angola, Sierra Leone

New candidate members: Uruguay, Benin, United States, Ukraine, Belarus
New full members: Bulgaria, Paraguay, Yugoslavia

New candidate members: Zimbabwe, Senegal
New full members: Benin, Liberia, Mexico, Zambia

New full members: Belarus, Zimbabwe, Senegal

New candidate members: Russia, Algeria, South Africa, Sri Lanka

New candidate members: Côte d’Ivoire, Georgia

New candidate members: Kenya, Nepal, Niger

New candidate members: Ecuador, Mali, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Uganda
New full members: Ghana, Japan, Niger

New candidate members: Argentina, Austria, Bulgaria, China, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Peru, Serbia, Tunisia, Uruguay
New full members: Kenya, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe

New candidate members: Tajikistan, Senegal
Special event: First International Conference for Youth in Agriculture (ICYA) was organized by the Executive Committee in Leuven, Belgium and the IAAS Study Abroad Program was started.