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 National Assembly.
Past Chairmen and Presidents of NFU Cymru:
Sir Meuric Rees: 1968-1970
Idris Davies: 1971-1973 (deceased)
D.L. Carey Evans: 1974-1976
T.W. Rosser: 1977-1979 (deceased)
J. Gwyn Griffiths: 1980-1982
Alun Evans: 1982-1984
Maurice Trumper: 1985-1987
T. Geraint Davies: 1988-1990
E. Trevor Davies: 1991-1993 (deceased)
John Lloyd Jones: 1994 -1997
Hugh Richards: 1998 - 2001
Peredur Hughes: 2002 - 2005
Dai Davies: 2006 - 2010
Edmund Bailey: 2010 - 2014
Stephen James: 2014 – 2018
John Davies: 2018 - present
The NFU’s 2008 Centenary
The NFU celebrated its Centenary in 2008 - download a timeline of our history here.
One of the many ways the NFU marked the occasion was with the publication of a comprehensive book telling the NFU’s story:
From Campbell to Kendall: A History of the NFU, written by NFU Vice President, Guy Smith, is a fascinating catalogue of British farming history. Packed with historical pictures, cartoons and NFU President biographies,the hardback book is available through Amazon here.
We also produced a two-part video, narrated by John Craven, which features some fascinating archive footage of British farming and the role the NFU has played in agriculture.