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History

In 1838 a group of individuals with interests in agriculture – journalists, landowners and enthusiasts – had become convinced that science would help English agriculture become more productive and meet the growing food requirements of a booming population. In 1840, the Royal Agricultural Society of England was granted its’ Royal Charter by HRH Queen Victoria.

Across nearly two centuries, the Royal Agricultural Society of England has played a leading role in the rapid agricultural progress of the 19th and 20th Centuries.

Today the society remains true to its roots and is dedicated to the application of science and technology to optimise farming and food resources. The Farm of the Future initiative shares information about solutions to enable profitable production of food while responding to environmental and societal challenges, such as climate change, biodiversity loss and the health crisis. Our sister charity, Innovation for Agriculture, delivers farmer to farmer learning opportunities and events.

The Farm of the Future Award was established

In 2023, the RASE Farm of the Future Award was established to promote and celebrate the trailblazers of agriculture in England, whose efforts are leading the way to establish agricultural systems which are producing nutritious food, benefiting the environment and are economically sustainable.

2023

RASE Farm of the Future Report, The Science and Technology Award, HRH Her Majesty the Queen

The RASE Farm of the Future report and associated sector papers were published in 2022.

The Science and Technology Award was established in 2022. It promotes the outstanding research and innovation that is enabling transformative
change with the agri-food sector.
The Bledisloe Gold Medal for Landowners was awarded to HRH Her Majesty the Queen for the management of her Sandringham and Windsor Estates.

2022

Innovation for Agriculture was launched

RASE established Innovation for Agriculture in 2013.

2013

The final Royal Show was held in 2009

The final Royal Show was held at Stoneleigh Park in 2009.

2009

The Excellence in Practical Farming award was established

In 1999, the Excellence in Practical Farming Award was established to recognise farmers and farm managers who are setting a lead for others, as practical farmers, and who are willing to impart their knowhow and encourage others to follow suit.

1999

The European Poultry Fair became the Pig & Poultry Fair

In 1992 the European Poultry Fair became the Pig & Poultry Fair. This was made possible by both the Poultry Fair and Pig Fair being based at Stoneleigh since RASE took over the management of Poultry Fair in 1983.

1992

LEAF was launched at The Royal Show

Linking Environment and Farming (LEAF) was launched at The Royal Show in 1991.

1991

British Food and Farming year

Agriculture was celebrated throughout the official British Food and Farming year

1989

Formation of the National Agricultural Centre Rural Trust

The National Agricultural Centre Rural Trust, which is now the Rural Housing Trust, was formed in 1975.

1975

Formation of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust

The Rare Breeds Survival Trust was formed in 1973.

1973

The first poultry focused farm open day, which was to become the annual poultry fair

The Poultry Fair began in 1965 as a farm open day to consolidate interest in the developing poultry industry. The open day soon became a fair and the single day became two.

1965

The National Agricultural Award was established

The National Agricultural Award was established in 1964. The award is presented to an individual to recognise an outstanding contribution to the advancement of agriculture in the UK.

1964

The Bledisloe gold medal was gifted to RASE by Viscount Bledisloe on his 90th birthday

The Bledisloe gold medal was gifted to RASE by Viscount Bledisloe on his 90th birthday. The Bledisloe gold medal was originally awarded to a landowner who achieved outstanding service in encouraging the application of science and technology to some branch of British husbandry. It is now awarded to a landowner who demonstrates outstanding achievement in the successful land management and development of an agricultural estate in England.
 

1957

Burke Trophies introduced

The Burke Perpetual Challenge Trophies were introduced as a new award at the RASE Royal Show in 1951, to mark the occasion of Sir Roland Burke's retirement in 1950, after 20 years in office as Honorary Director of RASE.

1951

The Agriculture Act of 1947

The Agriculture Act of 1947 was an important piece of legislation which conditioned post-war policy. The government's aim was to maintain high levels of agricultural production.

1947

Tractor trials established the tractor in general farm use

RASE was involved in testing and reporting on some of the first tractors to arrive in England, which were shipped over from America.

1920

The Board of Agriculture and the Ministry of Food were merged to form the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries

In 1919 The Board of Agriculture and the Ministry of Food were merged to form the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. This later became the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF), which was in turn the predecessor of Defra.

1919

The Ministry of Food was created

The Ministry of Food was created in 1916 in response to a change of mood around food security during the first world war.

1916

Harper Adams College was founded

Harper Adams College, now university, was founded in 1901.

1901

Establishment of the National Examination Board

The National Examination Board was established to promote agricultural education. This marks the origins of the National Diploma in Agriculture and was the model for today’s specialist exams.

1899

The introduction of milk quality assessment

Milk quality assessment was introduced at the Royal Show. This was the precursor of modern milk recording schemes.

1895

The Board of Agriculture was established

The Board of Agriculture was established by an Act of Parliament in 1889.

1889

Cattle Diseases Prevention Act

Recommendations lead to the introduction of Cattle Diseases Prevention Act.

1866

The Royal Agricultural College was founded

The Royal Agricultural College,  now the Royal Agricultural University was founded in 1845. It was the first such institution in the English speaking world.

1845

Rothamsted Experimental Station was founded

Rothamsted Experimental Station, now Rothamsted Research, was founded in 1843.

1843

Royal Charter

In 1840, the group of agricultural enthusiasts, landowners and journalists became the Royal Agricultural Society of England when it was granted its Royal Charter by HRH Queen Victoria.

1840

The First Royal Show

The first Royal Show was held in west London in 1839.

1839

A group of individuals with interests in agriculture came together to form what would become RASE

In 1838 a group of individuals with interests in agriculture – journalists, landowners and enthusiasts – became convinced that science would help English agriculture become more productive and meet the growing food requirements of a booming population.

1838