Signs of agricultural and forestry interest representation first emerged in Austria during the second half of the 18th Century, based on models in France, England and Germany. In almost all regions of Austria, these arable production societies (Ackerbaugesellschaften) were soon replaced by agricultural societies in Styria 1819, Tyrol and Vorarlberg 1838, Upper Austria 1845, and Salzburg 1848. The agricultural societies devoted themselves to the preservation of rural culture and to interest representation.
As the system of peasant subordination and dependency dissolved after 1848, attempts were made to model the agricultural societies after those of industry and trade, as established by law in1850 and to the creation of agricultural chambers. This led to the dissolution of the agriculture societies and to the establishment of regional cultural councils (Landeskulturräten) by regional law over the following period: Tyrol 1881, Upper Austria 1886, Lower Austria 1905, Carinthia 1910 and Vorarlberg 1911. Initially, the Styria region retained its agricultural society tradition.
The task of the regional cultural councils was to promote the economic interests of agriculture and contribute to the care of local culture. However, they were not authorized to raise funds or to elect their own representational bodies. Only after the First World War was the system of autonomous professional interest representation created. The first chamber of agriculture was established according to regional law in Lower Austria on 22 February 1922. Within a decade, the other federal regions followed (Styria 1929; Vienna only in 1957).
The underlying idea of the agricultural chamber system was to combine the entire agricultural and forestry sector of a region, through direct electoral voting, in an autonomous interest representation body with the right to raise funds and have sub-divisions. Alongside direct interest representation, public law gives the agenda for regional cultural promotion to the Chambers.
In 1923, the regional agricultural repesentative bodies established a common federal organization known as the "Presidents' Conference of the Austrian Corporations of Agriculture" (Präsidentenkonferenz der landwirtschaftlichen Körperschaften Österreich), which was dissolved in 1938 and replaced by the relevant German provisions (Reichnährstand). After the re-institution of Austria as a democratic republic in 1945, the chambers of agricultural resumed their activities in accordance with the legislation of 5 March 1933. The centralized professional representation of agricultural and forestry was re-established as the Austrian Chamber of Agriculture on 1 January 1946 in the first joint conference of the regional chambers of agriculture. On 28 March 1953, the Austrian Chamber of Agriculture became a legally-recognized body.