It was a centenary celebration 101 years in the making. NFU members and staff headed to the Euston Estate to mark the centenary of the county branch, one year later than expected.
Covid meant some changes from the original plans, with social distancing in place throughout and masks required for the tractor and trailer tour of the farm. But for many it was the first chance to get together at a face-to-face farm event since the first lockdown in March last year.
Challenges and opportunities ahead
NFU Suffolk County Chair Glenn Buckingham said: “It’s fantastic that we have finally been able to celebrate our centenary at such a wonderful venue. It was definitely worth the wait.
“The centenary is an occasion to look back on everything that NFU Suffolk has achieved and to thank past members and staff for all they have done on behalf of Suffolk agriculture.
“It’s also an opportunity to look forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead, including climate change, new agricultural policies and the challenge of feeding a growing population while protecting and enhancing the environment.
“Suffolk agriculture has proved its resilience over the past century and we can be confident that, despite these challenges, it faces a positive future in the century to come.”
Raising funds to thank the NHS
Mr Buckingham said farmers wanted to use the event to thank NHS staff for everything they had done during the pandemic.
During the farm tour, led by Euston Estate Director Andrew Blenkiron, 10 native oak and beech trees, donated by the Woodland Trust, were planted, alongside a plaque thanking NHS staff. Money raised from a raffle and auction will also be donated to West Suffolk and Ipswich NHS trusts.
After the tour, farmers enjoyed a hog roast donated by NFU Suffolk member Peter Mortimer and cooked by former country chair James Stamper, washed down by a glass of Farmers Flagon, the NFU Suffolk centenary beer brewed by St Peter’s Brewery. Money donated towards the meal will go to farming charity FCN.