Today, on 12 November, the Ministry of Rural Affairs of Estonia celebrates its 100th anniversary. To mark this special occasion, the Ministry of Rural Affairs held a special celebratory event on 2 November at the Estonian National Museum in Tartu. All current and former ministers, officials and employees of the Ministry of Rural Affairs, as well as representatives of its administrative agencies, farmers, fishermen and other promoters of the sector were invited.
Minister of Rural Affairs Tarmo Tamm noted that “While looking at our dignified past, we have to focus on the future. We do not yet know what our future will look like – shaping it is in our hands. I believe that a love for Estonia and its agriculture beats in all our hearts. High-quality, pure and delicious Estonian food – this is our huge wealth. I would like to thank all the farmers, food producers and rural life promoters who have helped bring this wealth onto our tables!”
During the event, Minister Tamm bestowed 74 Silver and Gold Decorations to the most outstanding and successful promoters of agriculture and rural life. Four foreign nationals were also included among the recipients, with three Silver Decorations and one Gold Decoration. The Silver Decorations were bestowed upon Karen Selma van Stegeren, Ambassador of the Netherlands, a country that has been Estonia’s long-term partner and supporter, and the main promoter for the visit of the King of Netherlands to Estonia; Juhani Rouhiainen, a Finnish advisor in the 1990s, who acted as a bridge between Finland and Estonia and was the first to explain the EU’s common agricultural policy in a clear-cut way to Estonian authorities; Christian Böse, a German expert in the 1990s, who’s competent analysis of the sector helped Estonia considerably in working towards the EU’s common agricultural policy. The Gold Decoration was bestowed upon Qu Zhe, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China from 2012 to 2017 and a supporter of the trade relations’ promotion between Estonia and China.
The Ministry of Rural Affairs, formerly the Ministry of Agriculture was one of the first ministries created in 1918. It is also one of the longest working ministries in a single location with more than 80 years at the current address in the historical centre of Tallinn. Throughout the years, the ministry has worked on developing agricultural and fisheries policies to make sure that the Estonian food production is a competitive one, while also providing jobs and opportunities in rural areas.