Russ grew up on his family's mixed farm in Herefordshire, England and left home to study Civil Engineering at Cardiff University. After a stint of office life as an engineer and round the world travel he returned to agriculture keen to play a role in helping food production and rural societies become fit for the future. He has been very active in rural youth movements both nationally and internationally, having previously been chairman of Rural Youth Europe and chairman the Agricultural and Rural Issues (AGRI) steering group for the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs in England and Wales. Alongside his volunteering for rural youth he has been at the helm of the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association which is a growing community of regenerative livestock farmers across the UK and Ireland. He is a strong advocate for sustainable farming and change leadership.