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 country 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 since the first lockdown in March last year.
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.”
Mr Buckingham said it was also an opportunity to look forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead – including climate change and new agricultural policies, as well as producing food for a growing population while enhancing the environment.
Highlighting the efforts of NHS staff during the pandemic, Mr Buckingham said: “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.”
A farm tour led by Euston Estate director Andrew Blenkiron saw the planting of 10 native oak and beech trees donated by the Woodland Trust. Money raised from a raffle and auction will be donated to West Suffolk and Ipswich NHS trusts.
After the tour, farmers enjoyed a hog roast donated by NFU Suffolk member Peter Mortimer. Cooked by former country chair James Stamper, it was 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. The NFU would like to thank Ensors, Tees, Yara, Bayer, Tuckwell’s. Thurlow Nunn Standen and Walnes Seeds for helping to sponsor the NFU Suffolk centenary celebrations.