The NJF story

The history of NJF begins on 9 February, 1918 at a Danish plant production meeting in Copenhagen, where also a few agricultural researchers from Sweden and Norway took part. One of the participants, the grassland specialist, Dr Anders Elofson, Sweden, brought forward a proposal of an association of agricultural researchers from the Nordic countries. His idea was greeted with enthusiasm and a successful Danish tenant, Mr Elias Lunding, was commissioned to lead the work of the realisation of such an association. That very day the idea was discussed in a group consisting of Dr Elofson, Professor Nilsson-Ehle and Dr Witte from Sweden, and Director Dorph-Petersen, Professor Kølvin-Ravn, Dr Erik Lindhard from Denmark as well as Mr Lunding. Only a week later at a meeting in Stockholm Mr Lunding presented his proposal for statutes of the new association. Finally, on 19-20 March - in connection with the Swedish Agricultural Meeting (Lantbruksveckan) - after some minor amendments in the statutes suggested by Professor Emil Korsmo, Norway, a group of delegates was authorized to lead the discussions at the respective national meetings which would take place immediately.

Representatives of Denmark, Norway and Sweden met in Copenhagen on 24 September, 1918. Mr Elias Lunding was appointed Secretary General and Professor Herman Nilsson-Ehle, Sweden, was elected the first chairman of NJF. During the following three days, the rules were outlined and the national associations were founded. Professor T. Kølpin-Ravn was the first chairman of the Danish association, Director W. Christie the first chairman of the Norwegian association and Professor H. Nilsson-Ehle the first chairman of the Swedish association. The basic structure of the national associations and the scientific sections, as formulated in the first statutes, is still valid.

It is evident that Elofson and Lunding were the real enthusiasts, but their personalities were rather different. Elofson was the visionary, the missionary and the charmer and Lunding the patriarchal leader - he could be brusque and sharp - but he was at the same time a very generous man, who also supported NJF economically. There were also other pioneers like Professor Emil Korsmo, Norway, Professor K A Bondorff, Denmark, Professor Otto Valle, Finland and Direktor Lars Spildo, Norway.

Sweden, Denmark and Norway, the three countries that agreed upon founding NJF formally became members on September 24th 1918 at 12.00 hours CET. Finland joined on March 18th 1919 and Iceland became the fifth member on May 5th 1927

The Baltic states Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joined in 2005.