In a surprise move, former Education Secretary Michael Gove has been appointed to take on the Defra brief in Theresa May’s reshuffle.
Mr Gove played a key role in the campaign to leave the EU and has been an outspoken critic of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.
His predecessor, Andrea Leadsom, has become Leader of the House of Commons.
Shane Brennan, head of external affairs at the CLA, said: "Michael Gove has a reputation for bringing significant challenge and reform to his policy brief.
"Defra has a major role to play in both the negotiations and preparing for life after the UK exits the EU.
"We look forward to working with him and his team and we are eager to get on with addressing the big challenges ahead."
NFU vice president Guy Smith says:
@michaelgove Congratulations Michael. DEFRA SOS is a huge job and our industry looks to you to build a better future for U.K. Agriculture.— Guy Smith (@essexpeasant)
Mr Gove said: “It is an honour to be appointed Environment Secretary at such an important time for our country.
“As we leave the European Union, I am determined to protect our precious environment, support our thriving fishing industry and help our globally-renowned food and farming industries grow more, sell more and export more great British food and drink.”
"I actually think that this could be good. It definitely will be a challenge but he would be in favour of productive agriculture and not in support of the status quo.
"Agricultural productivity in the UK has declined under the present agricultural policy. This is an opportunity to work towards support for productive agriculture."
"Why do we never get someone who has a good knowledge of the industry, food and farming?"
"He was a keen 'vote leave' man so he will be determined to make a successful Brexit where he can so he gets credit for his decision."
"Cards on the table, he wouldn't gave been my first pick either, not least because I don't think he's well versed on the subject. But that could be a plus point in that he will now need to listen.
"As long as he listens to the right people I do know that the guy is both intelligent and capable. The jury is out but I believe it could have been an awful lot worse."