Jean Deleau was born on December 25, 1906, in Monts en Ternois (62). With degrees in agricultural engineering and law, he lived as a farmer in his native village. Throughout his career, he held many prominent positions in agricultural organisations. President of the Chamber of Agriculture in his département and vice chairmen of the FNSEA, he presided over the l’AGPB from 1945 to 1974. As a member of all the French and European authoritative bodies dealing with agriculture, he played a considerable role in establishing agricultural institutions. Immensely knowledgeable and a great speaker, he dealt as an equal with politicians and high officials and left an indelible imprint on the life and culture of the AGPB. He was the first president of Fert, from 1981 to 1984. He passed away in 1987.
Gérard de Caffarelli
Gérard de Caffarelli was born on December 11, 1926, in Vaunoise (Orne). With a degree on agricultural engineering from the École Supérieure d’Agriculture et de Viticulture of Angers (ESA), he was a farmer in Leschelle (Aisne) from 1948 until he retired at the age of 71. He was also mayor of Leschelle from 1977 to March 2001. He worked his entire life in defence of agriculture and made his mark on the history of agriculture by enabling it to evolve, assert itself and adapt to the times. In particular he played a leading role in establishing EU preferential principles, price guarantees, market organisation and, when necessary, compensatory payments. He was one of the great builders of agricultural Europe and participated in many international negotiations. Among his many professional responsibilities, Gérard de Caffarelli was president of the Fédération Nationale des Syndicats d’Exploitants Agricoles (FNSEA), president of the Confédération Générale de l’Agriculture (CEA), chairman of the management committee of the Fonds de Solidarité des Céréaliers – Éleveurs (FSCE), president of the Association Nationale pour le Développement Agricole (Anda), chairman of the Comité des Organisations Professionnelles Agricoles (Copa), and president of the Conseil National de l’Enseignement Agricole Privé (Cneap). He was president of Fert from 1984 to 2006. He passed away on May 17, 2011, at the age of 85 ans.
Michel Ledru was born in 1935. In 1961 he began mixed farming with a focus on dairy in Bosc Guérard (Seine Maritime), a municipality of which he has been mayor since 1989. He was subsequently elected president of the Young Farmers of Seine Maritime in 1959, president of the Union Syndicale Agricole (USA) of Seine Maritime in 1971, president of the Fédération Nationale des Producteurs de Lait (FNPL) in 1983 and president of the ULN (formerly the CLHN) in 1984. He was the director and later Deputy Secretary General of the Fédération Nationale des Syndicats d’Exploitants Agricoles in 1986 and a member of the Economic and Social Council from 1982 to 1992. He presided over Fert from 2006 to 2008 and Sol et Civilisation from 2003 to 2012.
Henri de Benoist
Henri de Benoist was born on November 18, 1938. A graduate of the Institut National Agronomique of Paris, he took over operation of the family farm in Bove in the municipality of Bauconville-Vauclair in the Aisne. In 1964, he was elected president of the Jeune Chambre Économique of Laon. In 1968, he became mayor of his municipality and still holds that office. Secretary of the Union of Agricultural Engineers, he took his first steps as a trade unionist by founding – while he was a student – the Fédération Nationale des Associations des Grandes Écoles (FNAGE), and later, as part of his département’s union movement, alongside Gérard de Caffarelli, president of the FNSEA, and Claude Ferté, president of the USAA of the Aisne. Called to serve on the board of directors of the AGPB by Jean Deleau, he became its secretary general in 1976 and president in 1986. He was the first vice chairman and chairman of the Economic Commission of the FNSEA, president of the regional office of the Crédit Agricole de l’Union Nord-Est, and he also served on the Economic and Social Council.
He has been the president of Fert since 2008, having always supported it within the grain growers’ organisations and especially within the Crédit Agricole.
Jean-François Isambert was born on September 25, 1953. Cereal farmer on a 270 ha area in the Evry area in the Essonne since 1981, he is involved in agricultural cooperation. He was successively Chairman of the Corbeil cooperative from 1994, then Chairman of the La Francilienne cooperative after the merger of the Corbeil and Limours cooperatives from 1997 to 2004. After the merger of La Francilienne and the Dunois cooperative, he became Vice-Chairman of the Dunois cooperative from 2004 to 2009, Vice-Chairman of Agralys from 2009, director of Axereal until 2017 and finally Chairman of the Regional Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives of Ile de France from 2000 to 2015. Called in 2006 by Philippe Pinta, then Chairman of AGPB, he took on many responsibilities within French grain growers organizations. He was first Secretary General of AGPB from 2006 to 2017, and became Vice-Chairman in 2018. Director and Vice-Chairman of Unigrains since May 2009, he chairs the International Committee since 2011. Chairman of the Ile de France Regional Commission of Arvalis Institut du Végétal since 2008, he has been a member of the Board since 2009. He is also a director of France Export Céréales from 2007 to 2013 and of Intercéréales from 2007 to 2019. At the European level, he was Vice-Chairman of the Cereals Technical Committee of COPA – Committee of Professional Agricultural Organizations – from 2012 to 2018 and has been Chairman since then. Among his many responsibilities, since 2014 he has chaired Club Demeter, an associative ecosystem bringing together 65 French agriculture and food companies.
Member of the board of Fert since 2010, he has chaired the agri-agency since 2017. In this capacity, he also chaired the international alliance AgriCord from 2016 to 2019.
The other personalities who brought the association to life
With a doctorate in law and a graduate of the Ecole des Sciences Politiques, Jean Dupuis was a prominent actor of the professional agricultural organisations and thus supported the adaptation of farming to the 20th century. In particular, he directed legal department of the Caisse nationale de Crédit Agricole, the Société des Caves de Roquefort, and Unigrains. He was also one of the principal founders of Fert and of Sol et Civilisation which he has supported the development. He passed away on January 19, 1999, at the age of 76.