Order of Agricultural Merit, Type I, Grand Cross
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The Order of Agricultural Merit (Orden al Mérito Agrícola) was founded by King Alfonso XIII on December 1, 1905. It was awarded in recognition of those individuals who had encouraged the agricultural practices within Spain.
The Order had three original grades; Grand Cross, Silver Cross, and Cross. In 1906, The Grand Cross, Commander by Number (also known as Grand Officer), Commander, and Knight were added to the Order. The Bronze Medal was added in 1926.
The Order was annulled by the Second Spanish Republic in 1931, and it was reinstated by General Francisco Franco on October 14, 1942.
On February 27, 1987, The Order was re-instituted as the Order of Agrarian, Fishery and Alimentary Merit (Orden al Mérito Agrícola, Pesquero y Alimenticio), and these new categories were created; the Order was divided into Agrarian, Fishery, and Alimentary Merit. The Order's structure is the same for each branch, however their central medallion design and inscriptions vary depending on the merit. .
Since 1980, the grades are Grand Cross, Commander of Number, Commander, Officer, Knight, and Bronze Medal.
Currently, the Order is conferred upon Spanish and foreign citizens in recognition of meritorious services rendered to agricultural practices in fields such as, technology, industry, technique, among others. There is a special grade called the Great Cross for Agrarian, Fishery and Alimentary Merit, which is awarded for merit achieved in all of the three branches.
This Order is the highest distinction for Agriculture merit in Spain.
The Order is classified into three types. Type I includes the Great Cross to Agrarian, Fishery and Alimentary Merit, and the Agrarian Merit branch. Type II includes the awards of Fishery Merit, while Type III includes the Alimentary Merit branch.
In Type I, the Agrarian Merit features the image of a woman plowing the field with an obverse inscription that translates to "Agrarian Merit."
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