Farmers Matt & Albert Lampey
Farmer: Matt LampeyLocation: South Chard, Somerset, UK Breeds: Charolais, Limousin, British Blue, Shorthorns
Our farmer & his farm
Farmer Matt and his father Albert have been raising cattle and sheep on their 165 acre farm in the beautiful South Somerset countryside, along the River Axe, for more than 19 years now.
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 Carolyn 45 years ago. Matt grew up on the smallholding and he soon decided that farming, and in particular keeping cattle, was to be his career. At about the time he left school 18 years ago, they moved to their new farm and Matt served an agricultural apprenticeship. Now he 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 that are 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 then, in Autumn, everyone moves to large straw-bedded sheds.
Albert and Matt allow the herd to expand naturally. They let the bulls run with the cows in Summer and they 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. They enjoy a stress-free lifestyle and are completely traceable from birth. The cows don't have to travel far when it's time for slaughter: they are killed humanely at a local abattoir, just half a mile away.
Albert and Matt keep a mixture of cattle breeds at their farm, including Limousins, British Blue, Shorthorns 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 that's known for its hardiness and gentle character. It’s known as a ‘closed herd’, which means that the animals are bred on the farm and not bought from other breeders. These cows can be fed almost entirely with feed that's grown on the farm.