President Chirac enjoys strolling through the aisles of the Salon

The youngest ever recipient of the Order of Agricultural Merit (1962), Jacques Chirac loved visiting the Salon de l’Agriculture, first as Minister of Agriculture (1973-1974) and then as Mayor of Paris from 1977. And as French President (here on Inra’s stand during the Sia 2001), he never missed a visit during his two mandates from 1995 to 2007.

French President Mitterrand sulks the Salon de l’Agriculture

As President, François Mitterrand (here at Jouy-en-Josas Centre in 1988 with Jacques Poly) never visited the Salon de l’Agriculture. He was scheduled to make an appearance in 1982, but the prevailing sentiment of misogyny towards his Minister of Agriculture at that time, Edith Cresson, forced him to withdraw.  During his 14 years as French Head of State, Mitterrand systematically stayed away from the event.

Visit by de Gaulle and Pompidou to the Salon de l’Agriculture

After the success of the first Salon de l’Agriculture (SIA),  President de Gaulle decided to visit the second edition, at a time when agriculture was undergoing rapid modernisation and experiencing a rise in yields. General de Gaulle was thus the first of many politicians to visit the SIA, tasting speciality foods and drinks from throughout the country during his tour.

INRA acquires Château Couhins

In 1968, the Couhins vineyards were virtually abandoned.  In subsequent years, INRA would work to restructure the vineyards based on a new parcelling plan and then build new winery facilities that were completed in 1981. Today, Couhins covers an area of 25 hectares and implements a production method inspired by both traditional techniques and the results of viticultural research.

Inauguration of the SOLEIL synchrotron

SOLEIL (Source Optimisée de Lumière d’Énergie Intermédiaire du LURE) is a third-generation synchrotron optimised in the medium X-ray range that was opened on 18 December 2006 by Jacques Chirac. It is an extremely powerful light source that can explore both inert and living matter.


Bernard Chevassus-Au-Louis becomes Director General of INRA

After qualifying from the Ecole Normale and then gaining a PhD in the natural sciences, Bernard Chevassus-Au-Louis became Research Director at INRA where initially he devoted his efforts to hydrobiology and wild fauna.  He thus became a specialist in fish genetics.  He took over the leadership of INRA in 1992, staying in the post for four years before moving to the French Food Safety Agency (AFSSA) and finally becoming President of the French National Science Museum in 2002.

Raymond Février appointed Director General of INRA

Following his secondary education in Lyon, Raymond Février (on the right) entered the National Agricultural Institute in 1940. Recruited by INRA in 1945, he would complete most of his career within the Institute, where he was one of the founders of the Jouy-en-Josas Research Centre in 1951. Appointed Director General in 1975, he resigned in 1978.

Development of a vaccine against brucellosis

Brucellosis is a bacterial zoonosis, or in other words a disease that can be transmitted from animals to humans, in whom it is also called Malta Fever. Transmission occurs through skin or mucosal contact with an infected animal, or by the ingestion of contaminated foods (such as cream cheese).