Farmer Dean Laramy
Farmer: Dean LaramyLocation: Offwell, Honiton, UK Breeds: Galloway, Limousin, Hereford, Devons, Aberdeen Angus
Having grown up on his father’s farm — who happens to still be farming late into his 80’s — Dean always knew his future was destined for the fields. He grew up learning anything and everything there was to know about farming naturally and sustainably. Having tirelessly refined his craft through the years, Dean now has the privilege of passing down all his knowledge to his son David who has now also started to run a farm of his own.
Based in Offwell, Honiton, Dean farms on a beautifully green 400 acre estate, rearing a total of just over 400 cattle. The herd is comprised of suckler cows and their calves, as well as both store and finishing cattle. Whilst Dean explains that his farm — standing tall on a hill — has no history of archaeological interest, he’s adamant that the earth he farms on is incredibly unique and holds the keys to his famously consistent green, green grass all year round. Specifically, he explains that the depth of his soil is so great that when the weather is very wet, his hill is able to let the rain slide down once it has soaked up all it needs to. In contrast, when it gets very dry, the soil is able to use its collected reservoirs of rainwater from prior seasons to nourish the grass. Summer, autumn, winter or spring — Dean’s grass is always, always healthy and green!
Dean is a strong advocate for avoiding hormones and preventative antibiotics when rearing his animals, and has learnt that a strong focus on a carefully supervised level of natural nutrition, hygiene and animal welfare unswervingly delivers the best results on the plate. Dean also keeps a sharp eye on avoiding chemicals or sprays as much as possible when maintaining his grounds. Instead, he prefers to use natural fertilisers, e.g. the dung produced on his own farm, and has seen this have a positive effect on keeping worms alive, providing crucial nourishment to the biodiversity of the ground he stewards.
The reason Dean is so passionate about the health of his grass is because his cows are fed almost exclusively on it. On top of ensuring their healthy diet, he also makes sure to spend alot of time bonding with his animals so that they are comfortable, happy and stress-free - the way a cow’s life should be!