Wayland Show 2017: Award joy for determined Young Achiever
- Credit: Archant
A commitment to diversification and self-improvement has earned a young livestock farmer an industry accolade at this year's Wayland Show.
Rosie Howes, from Winfarthing near Diss, is the winner of the Wayland Agricultural Society's Young Achiever of the Year award, which will give her the chance to access industry-specific training and mentoring to further her career.
The 21-year-old started her Shelfanger flock in December 2015, after meeting her boyfriend Scott Brame, 24.
Now the flock has grown to 100 ewes – with the couple aiming to expand it to 150 within the next year – and the fledgling business also incorporates the Cherry Tree herd of 15 red poll cattle.
The award-winner said she eventually wants to use milk from the dual-purpose cattle to make dairy products and ice cream.
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'I want to diversify because you don't want all your eggs in one basket,' she said.
'We are starting to build up the cattle gradually and, in several years' time when we have got the opportunity, we will start milking. I want my ice cream to taste delicious and be amazing.
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'I've always been into being self-sufficient. I like to know where my food comes from and I want to know how much love and care goes into everything. When we produce our own lamb we know the quality that has gone into it, so I'm very proud of it.
'The award gives me lots of motivation to push on and encourage my business to go forward. I want to reach the maximum potential and keep bettering myself. There is always room for improvement, whatever you do.'
Miss Howes is building her business while working full-time as a brand specialist at Debenhams department store in Bury St Edmunds.
'When I first started, I had no experience in sheep or cattle,' she said. 'But I fell in love with my boyfriend and we fell in love with farming.
'You can always use other skills. Of all the knowledge I have gained from working at Debenhams, I can add that knowledge to whatever I am doing to make my product the best on the market.'
The award is designed to recognise outstanding dedication and contribution to agriculture, horticulture, wildlife or any other rural sector in Norfolk. The 2017 runners-up were Holly Lutkin and Will Pope.