Mike Tucker, farmer and commentator Lives: Tetbury ‘The Cotswolds is all about the farming and sporting landscape, especially the hunting
Mike Tucker had been dairy farming for decades (he gave up in 2009) when he first tasted Wagyu beef while in Hong kong commentating for the BBC on the 2008 equestrian Olympics. The meat of these black Japanese cattle has more mono-unsaturated fats and melts at a lower temperature than any other beef, hence its reputation for literally melting in the mouth. ‘Farming here is all about producing beef efficiently and a lot of people don’t think about the eating experience, but it’s the future,’ says Mr Tucker (www. wagyugb.com).
He bought his first pedigree Wagyu in 2010 and is now crossing them with Aberdeen Angus or Hereford—‘some people are doing it with continental breeds, but it should be about natives’—supplying meat to several outlets and chairing the British Wagyu Breeders Association. ‘i think our diversification is a reflection of farming today,’ he observes.
‘For me, the cotswolds is all about the farming and sporting landscape, especially the hunting [he has field-mastered the Duke of Beaufort’s Monday country] and eventing. Three generations on both sides of my family have farmed around here—my grandfather farmed at Badminton, over the original quarry area where the famous cross-country fence now is, and i’ve been going there since i was in short trousers. i’ve ridden there [he was second in 1973] and will be commentating this weekend. it’s in the blood’
The Potting Shed, crudwell (www.thepottingshedpub.com)