Royal Welsh Agricultural Society celebrates 120th birthday in shadow of farmers protests 

The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society celebrates its 120th birthday in the shadow of the recent farmers protests across the country.

Royal Welsh Agricultural Society celebrates 120th birthday in shadow of farmers protests

On 26th February 1904, a gathering of influential landowners came together to form the Welsh National Agricultural Society, an organisation that would later become the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society. 

120 years later, the members celebrated the launch of the society that has played a leading role in the development of agriculture and the rural economy in Wales.  

This year also marks an important step for the Welsh farming industry, as farmers have been taking part in protests to show their dissatisfaction with legislation proposed by the government. 

More relevant than ever 

Speaking to the media, Aled Jones from the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society said that the Royal Welsh Show plays a “key role” in giving the sector a platform to showcase the industry in Wales and has done so since 1904. 

The show has grown into the biggest agricultural show in Europe, attracting people from across the world each year. 

Mr Jones added: “Given recent events (farmers protests), I think that’s even more relevant now than it was 120 years ago.” 

SFS disappointment 

On Wednesday 28th February Welsh farmers hosted a huge protest to show their disappointed with the plans for the Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS). The protest became the largest farming demonstration in Senedd history.

Agricultural landowners are asked to dedicate 10% of their land to natural habitat and another 10% to tree planting in exchange for financial support.  

According to the Welsh Government, SFS aims to “keep farmers farming” and “safeguard the environment”.  Welsh farmers, however, raised their concerns and said that SFS does not provide equal access for farmers who do not own the land that they farm. 

At the end of last week, PM Rishi Sunak publicly backed protesting farmers in Wales while meeting them at the Welsh Conservative conference in Llandudno. He said: “We’re going to do everything we can because we’ve got your back.”

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