Our history

For more than 110 years the NFU has been representing Welsh and British farmers and growers. We're committed to doing that for 100 more.

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.

NFU Cymru established

NFU Cymru was established in 1999 at the time of the advent of devolved government in Wales and the National Assembly.

Today NFU Cymru is led by a president and deputy president elected by the NFU Cymru Council which, as the union's governing body, consists of elected farmer representatives from each of the 11 county branches. NFU Cymru also has commodity and policy related boards and these are made up of elected farmer representatives from our county branches. At a county branch level, our members are led locally by elected chairs and vice chairs who in turn hold office for two-years.

Past Chairmen and Presidents of NFU Cymru:


1968 - 1970: Sir Meuric Rees
1971 - 1973: Idris Davies
1974 - 1976: D.L. Carey Evans
1977 - 1979: T.W. Rosser
1980 - 1982: J. Gwyn Griffiths
1982 - 1984: Alun Evans
1985 - 1987: Maurice Trumper
1988 - 1990: T. Geraint Davies
1991 - 1993: E. Trevor Davies
1994 - 1997: John Lloyd Jones


1998 - 2001: Hugh Richards
2002 - 2005: Peredur Hughes
2006 - 2010: Dai Davies
2010 - 2014: Edmund Bailey
2014 - 2018: Stephen James
2018 - 2022: John Davies
2022 - present: Aled Jones

The NFU's 2008 centenary

The NFU celebrated its Centenary in 2008 - download a timeline of our history here.

100 years of the NFU timeline_58051

One of the many ways we marked the occasion was with the publication of a comprehensive book telling the NFU’s story:

Image of the book entitled 'A history of the NFU'

From Campbell to Kendall: A History of the NFU, written by NFU member 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.

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