Lawrence Alderson was born in Yorkshire on a Pennine hill farm, which followed a largely self-contained semi-organic system with pedigree livestock. He holds a degree in agricultural science from Cambridge University, with a post-graduate qualification in genetics, and during his time there also served as President of the Cambridge University Agricultural Society.
Alderson began his career lecturing in agricultural colleges, with a special interest in animal breeding and business management, before establishing his own company (Countrywide Livestock Ltd). As the owner of farms in Hampshire, Wiltshire and Northumberland, he has hands-on experience with rare equine, bovine and ovine breeds, and went on to found both Rare Breeds International and the Rare Breed Survival Trust. He has written extensively on rare breeds and genetic conservation throughout his career, including Mason’s World Encyclopedia of Livestock Breeds and Breeding. In 2004 he was recognized for his services to conservation with a CBE.
Now a member of the Defra FAnGR committee and delegate to ERFP (European Regional Focal Point) meetings, he is an international consultant on the conservation of animal genetic resources.