On 14th November, 1955, the Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) received an invitation from the World Ploughing Organisation, England, to select a New Zealand competitor who would participate in the World Ploughing Contest being held at Oxford, England, in October, 1956.
Federated Farmers contacted all ploughing associations outlining the contest, rules and selection. A judicial committee was formed, and in May 1956, the first annual general meeting was held, the meeting was assured of a sponsor and the first The Gulf Oil Silver Plough contest was then held.
The Silver Plough Trophy awarded to the New Zealand winner is modelled on an antique plough - the first ever used in the Dominion.
At Keri Keri, in the Bay of Islands, Wednesday, May 3, 1820, the missionary, the Rev JG Butler walked behind the team of six bullocks drawing that first plough. On that historic day Butler wrote in his dairy: “I trust that this auspicious day will be remembered with gratitude and its anniversary kept by ages yet unknown.” The Silver Plough Trophy is an exact replica of the plough he used, which is preserved in the Old Colonist's Museum in North Auckland
The Executive Committee controlling the association all have an interest in farming. Over the years, many of the committee have competed in World Ploughing Championships. Regional Committees throughout New Zealand elect eleven Executive Committee Members. The President holds office for one year then becomes Immediate Past President and the following year automatically retires along with two members, who retire by rotation. All three are eligible for re-election.