On December 10, 1908, a meeting was held in an ante-room at the Smithfield Show to discuss whether a national organisation should be formed to represent the interests of farmers. The outcome was the National Farmers' Union.
Its first President, Colin Campbell, worked tirelessly to get new branches off the ground, encourage membership and establish the NFU's credibility with Government, at a time when farming was going through the longest and deepest depression in its history, as imports of cheap grain and frozen meat flooded in from abroad.
From those modest and difficult beginnings, the NFU has grown to become one of the most effective and respected trade associations in Britain.
The first Welsh county to join the NFU was Brecon and Radnor in 1908, followed by the remaining counties over the next few years. In 1968, the Welsh Council elected its first Chairman from among its members and so began the long tradition of Chairmen and Presidents within the NFU in Wales.
The title NFU Cymru was adopted in 1999 at the time of the advent of devolved government in Wales and the Welsh Assembly.
The list of past Chairmen and Presidents of NFU Cymru is as follows:
Sir Meuric Rees - 1968-70
Idris Davies - 1971-73 (deceased)
D.L. Carey Evans - 1974-76
T.W. Rosser - 1977-79 (deceased)
J. Gwyn Griffiths - 1980-82
Alun Evans - 1982-84
T. Geraint Davies-1988-90
E. Trevor Davies - 1991-93 (deceased)
John Lloyd Jones - 1994 -97
Hugh Richards - 1998 - 2001
Peredur Hughes - 2002 - 2005
Dai Davies - 2006 - 2010
Edmund Bailey - 2010 - 2014
Stephen James - 2014 - present
The increasing food demands posed by the growing world population and the effects of climate change on our farming systems are both challenges that are likely to impact heavily over the coming years. Rest assured that NFU Cymru is constantly striving on behalf of our members and will continue the fight for the good of the Welsh farming industry into the next 100 years.