The Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Waikato Provincial District) Incorporated was established by a group of individual farmers in 1954 to operate as a provincial district of Federated Farmers of New Zealand Inc.
The objects were to protect, foster and advance the interests of all farmers and farming generally and to do all things necessary for, or incidental or ancillary to the protection, fostering or advancement of the interests of farmers and farming.
A forward-thinking group of five original members saw the need to obtain strategic long-term assets and found a way to build the property on 169 London Street in Hamilton. Those members essentially took out life insurance policies that were then used as security to borrow the funds to buy the land and build the current five story building, which was completed in late 1959.
By 1984/85 Federated Farmers was busy solving farmers' problems. This was a time of high interest rates and a government that was not entirely supportive of farming. The need to focus on this led to less focus on maintaining the building asset.
This, along with the need to protect Waikato assets, led to the changes made in 1999. A new incorporated society was formed (now Waikato Federated Farmers Inc) to become the advocacy voice for farmers.
The existing organisation changed its constitution and name to become the Waikato Federated Farmers Charitable Society and took over the building and significant debt. These changes allowed for a new business focus and along with strong leadership, debt was paid down while also carrying out significant repairs and maintenance on the building. The success of these developments eventually resulted in an income stream to allow for a modest Charitable Distributions Policy to begin.
In 2017, a strategic review to ensure compliance with the Charities Act led to the formation of the current Charitable Trust, Waikato Farmers Trust.
Waikato Farmers Trust aspires to uphold the objectives of its founding members, to protect, foster and advance the interests of farming in the Waikato region while supporting research, education and the well-being of rural communities.