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Country Life Every Week - - My Week -

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)

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