The NFU will today (10 December) mark the exact day of its centenary with a special reception at the House of Lords.

The event, will be attended by many leading politicians as well as past presidents of the NFU including Lord Plumb.

The union was started following a meeting in an ante-room at the Smithfield Show on December 10 1908.  The gathering was called because of a row between farmers and butchers over who should pick up the bill for beef carcases that had to be condemned because of TB.

In a brochure that will distributed at the House of Lords reception, union president Peter Kendall said the greatest testimony to the success of the NFU lies in the fact that British farming is still a great industry, ready and able to play its full part in meeting the huge challenges that lie ahead.

“Because that is something that has been achieved against all the odds. Throughout the NFU’s existence, Britain has been an industrialised country, wedded to a cheap food policy, with an insignificant proportion of the workforce engaged in farming in a world which, until very recently, was awash with surplus food.

Mr Kendall added that two lessons seem to me to stand out from the NFU’s 100 years.

“The first is that we neglect our productive capacity as a farming nation – our food security – at our peril. The second is that for the farming voice to be heard it must be a strong voice, a united voice and a rational voice. That is what the NFU has given British farming for the last 100 years – and what it must continue to provide into the future.”

What do you think has been the best president of the NFU? Or the union’s greatest achievement in the past 100 years? Sharw your thoughts on the forums?