I welcome you all to the 59th Conference of the European Association for Animal Production (EAAP). Lithuania joined the EAAP in 1996 and we are especially glad that in 2008 our country hosts the main annual event of the Association. Lithuania is the first of the three Baltic States to hold an EAAP conference. This is an exceptional opportunity for the Lithuanian animal

husbandry experts and scientists to forge closer relations, to present Lithuania and to introduce our research work in animal husbandry. We are truly delighted that the trust has been shown in our ability to organise such a large – scale event and that we had the opportunity to attract the attention of scientists, agencies performing state regulation and experts related to the animal husbandry field. Farmers have keen interest in scientific achievements, therefore, we have to do our best to bring the progress of the science of animal husbandry closer to farmers and to ensure that they have access to advanced technologies and can benefit from the results of scientific research and experimental work. Efficient and environmentally friendly farming is the priority subject of the 59th EAAP Conference in Vilnius. This subject is closely related to the Vision of the Lithuanian Rural Development until 2013, which establishes the tasks by which we intend to achieve such goals as increasing the competitiveness of agriculture and forestry by supporting the restructuring, development and innovation in these sectors, improving the condition of environment and landscape by supporting environmentally friendly land management methods, raising the quality of life in rural areas and encouraging the diversity of economic activities. Lithuania is an agricultural country and scientific achievements in developing advanced and environmentally harmless technologies in this area are of special importance to the agriculture of Lithuania. This event of global importance has attracted to Lithuania 780 participants from 58 countries of the world. During the conference 37 scientific sessions will take place with 580 presentations to be made, including 20 presentations by Lithuanian scientists. On behalf of the Steering Committee of the conference, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the organisers and sponsors of the conference. I wish fruitful scientific discussions to all the participants and express hope that you will make new contacts for future cooperation and will leave Lithuania with lots of good impressions. May you have success in all your endeavours.

Prof. Kazimira Danutė Prunskienė
Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania,
President of Organising Committee

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