A Norfolk farmer has given her thanks to a member of the Royal Family in person, after she received a substantial bursary to help expand her farming business.
Helen Reeve, the owner of Waveney Dexter Beef in Low Road, Alburgh, is one of five farmers nationally in 2016 to benefit from The Prince’s Countryside Fund (PCF), a scheme set up to help people to develop their countryside careers.
Miss Reeve, 34, who also works full-time at a Starston dairy farm, also received a 12-month loan of a £35,000 Land Rover Discovery, to be used to make meat deliveries and grow her business.
She recently met Prince Charles at the Royal Norfolk Show, and thanked him for the opportunities the fund would provide her.
“Prince Charles knew who I was, and that I had Dexters, before I even opened my mouth,” said Miss Reeve, who has been keeping Dexter cattle for 20 years.
“He is so interested in agriculture, especially young people finding a path in the industry.
“It is encouraging to think that someone with such a high profile genuinely cares about the countryside.
“He asked me how I had used the vehicle and I told him about the issues we face on the farm, and how it can be difficult to find grazing.”
Having received her first heifer when she was just 14 years old, Miss Reeve is now a certified Dexter beef producer with around 50 cattle, working with other local businesses, such as C and K Meats in Eye and Palfrey and Hall in Kenton Hall.
She stated her company had carved out its “own little niche market” and that this new vehicle would enable her to extend her reach to groups and clubs located in remote rural areas.
“I just think it is a really brilliant prize to win. I would never be able to afford it otherwise,” she added.
Claire Saunders, director of the PCF, said: “We’re delighted to be able to support five ambitious young people who are making huge strides in their rural careers.
“These entrepreneurs are great ambassadors for young people making a difference in their rural communities.
“Everyone involved with The Prince’s Countryside Fund is excited to follow their journey this year and see the difference these vehicles can make.”
To learn more about the Prince’s Countryside Fund, visit www.princescountrysidefund.org.uk