Farmers Matt & Albert Lampey
Farmer: Matt LampeyLocation: South Chard, Somerset, UK Breeds: Charolais, Limousin, British Blue, Shorthorns
For more than 20 years, Matt and his father Albert have been raising cattle and sheep on their 165 acre farm along the River Axe, in the beautiful South Somerset countryside.
Although Albert grew up on his parents’ farm, he ended up doing an office job for most of his life. However, his love of the countryside and animals led him to buy a smallholding soon after he married his wife, Carolyn, 45 years ago. Their son Matt grew up on the smallholding and soon decided that farming, in particular keeping cattle, was to be his career. Around the time he left school 18 years ago, they moved to their new farm where Matt served an agricultural apprenticeship. Today, Matt and Albert run the farm together.
Matt and Albert favour traditional farming methods that stay close to nature. Their farm is more than just a place of work, it's also their home.
Their herd is made up of suckler cows, raised for beef rather than milk. This means that the calves, usually born in spring, get to stay with the herd. They spend the summer grazing in the fields alongside their mothers before moving to large straw-bedded sheds in the autumn.
Albert and Matt allow the herd to expand naturally. They let the bulls run with the cows during the summer and don't use artificial insemination. The size of the herd has grown over time and now averages a very respectable 300-400 animals.
Most of the cattle are born on the farm and spend their whole lives there, enjoying a stress-free lifestyle.
Albert and Matt keep a mixture of cattle breeds at their farm, including Limousin, British Blue, Shorthorn and Charolais. Their policy is to breed all of their cattle on the farm, including the cows that are used for breeding. Future 'mothers' are carefully selected for their quietness and 'ease of calving' history.
They also have a herd of 30 pedigree Shorthorns and a lovely pedigree bull named ‘Foreman’. The Shorthorn is a native British breed, known for its hardiness and gentle character. It’s known as a ‘closed herd’, meaning that the animals are bred on the farm and not bought from other breeders. These cows can be fed almost entirely with feed grown on the farm.