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UK Beef farmer wins first regenerative farming award

18 December 2020

Andy Rumming and his family who farm on the upper reaches of the River Thames have won the first ever Russ Carrington Award in recognition of their regenerative farming methods.

Russ Carrington led the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association (PFLA) for eight years and continually inspired change through collaboration amongst its growing membership of regenerative livestock farmers.

On 11 December 2020 Andy was presented with a bronze sculpture of a Geotrupes spiniger dung beetle, produced by Dartmoor-based sculptor Mairi Hunt, in recognition of Andy’s work producing 100 percent grass-fed, Pasture for Life meat, as well as his significant contribution as an active member of the PFLA.

A dung beetle was chosen because it is an unsung hero of pasture eco-systems and is a real engineer helping convert dung into healthy soil. Dung beetle expert Sally-Ann Spence helped develop the design modelling it on a real dung beetle specimen.

Andy’s farm

Andy’s farm business supports six partners and three generations at two farms, eight miles apart in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, covering 154 hectares. Eighty-five cross-bred cows calve in two groups and are cell grazed, moving completely every day with mobile water and electric fencing.

Straight after weaning, all youngstock is moved to Andy’s brother’s farm where they are run on a rotational grazing system. Slaughtered at 10 months to two years of age, many are butchered on-farm and sold direct to growing list of loyal local customers.

The team of PFLA judges said:

“Andy shares much knowledge on the PFLA members’ forum, on social media and on PFLA webinars and hosted the PFLA’s first virtual study tour, making it incredibly interactive.

“He relentlessly promotes both the PFLA to other farmers and Pasture for Life products to consumers. He is also always developing markets for the fifth quarter of his animals, from beef heart on skewers to fine leather goods, with high environmental standards and showing that a premium can come from having a nose-to-tail approach.”

On accepting the award, Andy said:

“The PFLA are such positive people and are the type that will always say ‘yes’ to whatever the request may be.

“Belonging to the membership brings many conversations and benefits and has really helped us shape out business. Winning this award is awesome and means I might have finally to build a mantlepiece to place the dung beetle on!”

The Russ Carrington Award will be awarded annually and the recipient will host the dung beetle sculpture for a year.


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