Prince Charles’ fund helps set Norfolk cattle farmer on the right road with a new Land Rover

Norfolk farmer Helen Reeve has won a business bursary from the Prince's Countryside Fund and Land Ro

Norfolk farmer Helen Reeve has won a business bursary from the Prince's Countryside Fund and Land Rover. She is pictured with her herd of Dexter cattle. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

A Norfolk farmer's business has been given a royal helping hand – with the loan of a brand new all-terrain vehicle to help take her pedigree beef venture down the right road.

Norfolk farmer Helen Reeve has won a business bursary from the Prince's Countryside Fund and Land Ro

Norfolk farmer Helen Reeve has won a business bursary from the Prince's Countryside Fund and Land Rover. Her award includes a year's loan of a Land Rover Discovery. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Helen Reeve, from Alburgh, near Harleston, is one of five national winners of the 2016 bursary offered by The Prince's Countryside Fund (PCF) and Land Rover which aims to support inspiring young people in the development of their countryside careers. It includes a 12-month loan of a Land Rover Discovery Sport, worth more than £35,000.

Miss Reeve, 34, works full-time on a dairy farm at Starston, but also runs her own business, Waveney Dexter Beef, rearing a herd of pedigree Dexter cattle for breeding and beef production.

She said the vehicle will be invaluable in transporting feed across tricky terrains and dirt tracks, and in making meat deliveries to her customers.

And she was thrilled to get the chance to thank the Prince of Wales in person for the support of his fund, during his visit to the Royal Norfolk Show.

Norfolk cattle farmer Helen Reeve meets Prince Charles at the 2016 Royal Norfolk Show.

Norfolk cattle farmer Helen Reeve meets Prince Charles at the 2016 Royal Norfolk Show. - Credit: Submitted

'Prince Charles knew who I was, and that I had Dexters, before I even opened my mouth,' she said. 'He is so interested in anything to do with agriculture, especially young people finding a path in the industry. It is nice to think that someone as high-profile as him 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.'

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Miss Reeve has been keeping the diminutive Dexter breed for 20 years – a passion which started when her mother bought her a heifer when she was 14 years old.

'I have got my own little niche market,' she said. 'If Aberdeen Angus is like a fine red wine, then Dexter is like the Champagne of beef. It is marbled throughout, which makes it really tender and flavoursome.'

She is now a certified Dexter beef producer with about 50 head of cattle. Her animals are slaughtered locally at C and K Meats in Eye, and butchered by Palfrey and Hall in Kenton Hall near Debenham.

She said her new Land Rover would not only help with deliveries, but also in getting to the many talks she gives to promote her brand.

'I was driving a Nissan Micra before, so this will be a godsend to take out meat deliveries,' she said. 'I just think it is a really brilliant prize to win. I would never be able to afford it otherwise. One of the aims for the year is to get a trailer licence to get animals to the slaughter, or to the grazing.'

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. Our partnership with Land Rover has provided a great opportunity for people who live and work in the countryside and everyone involved with The Prince's Countryside Fund is excited to follow their journey this year and see the difference these vehicles can make.'

Are you expanding a livestock operation? Contact chris.hill@archant.co.uk.

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