Ladies In Beef is a group of more than 150 female beef farmers who staged this year’s event with farming welfare charity the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI), based in Oxford.

On April 27, Mrs Blumfield and her family hosted a fundraiser for RABI on their farm, serving up their own succulent beef. On the same day, topside beef from the Blumfield’s Deersbrook Farm in Braintree, Essex was cooked on BBC Radio 2’s Simon Mayo Drivetime show by chef Nigel Barden, who prepared a mini roast with a chutney and coriander glaze.

Mrs Blumfield is the fourth generation of her family at Deersbrook Farm. With her husband Phil, she runs a herd of 160 Sussex cattle and a continental herd of 800 mainly Saler cattle. The Sussex cattle are certified 100% grass fed by the Pasture Fed Livestock Association, which runs the Pasture For Life scheme. Pasture For Life meat is butchered, packed and labelled to sell directly from the farm.

Deersbrook Farm is about 100 acres, and a much larger area of grazing land is rented. The Saler cattle were passed on to Mrs Blumfield by her parents as a commercial business in which selected abattoirs send the meat on to supermarkets.

Some of the land is heavy, some is light and some of the rented area is marshland. On the light land, the cattle stay out all year round and are strip grazed on turnips and fodder beet which is supplemented with home produced hay and silage: these cattle go under the Pasture For Life certification. “Calves are much stronger outside,” said Mrs Blumfield. “They don’t scour or pick up diseases such as pneumonia.”

Cattle on the heavy land go inside during winter where, depending on the size of the crop, turnips which have been lifted and put through a shredder are put into troughs for them.

In 2015, Mrs Blumfield was highly commended in the field to fork category of the fine food and drink awards when the farm became the first with 100% grass fed cattle in Essex certified by Pasture For Life. This year, the farm is a regional finalist in Delicious Magazine’s produce awards, which celebrate local food heroes.

Pictured: On the top bales are Amber and Oliver Blumfield, the children of Anna Blumfield (in the middle) and Phil Blumfield, bottom left. In the middle at the bottom of the stack is Mary Hawes with her husband Peter, Mrs Blumfield’s parents