Today’s Land Girls
PUBLISHED: 06:49 13 October 2014
Helen Reeve – Farmer
Harleston farmer Helen Reeve, 32, owns her own herd of 50 Dexter cattle and works full-time on a dairy farm milking 150 pedigree Jersey cows twice a day. Helen is an elected member of the RNAA council, and on top of this, teaches agriculture one day a week at Easton and Otley College, specialising in dairy, beef and pigs.
“I’m an early riser, waking at 4.45am for milking, but in many ways I need to get up that early to fit everything in!
Helen represents a growing number of women working in what has traditionally been a male-dominated farming industry.
“It cuts both ways being a woman in farming; there are times when being a girl falls in my favour and I’ve had extra help and guidance on certain things, but more often than not, I find I need to give 150pc extra to farming to ensure I prove the point that women can farm – and farm really well at that.
“From first-hand experience teaching at Easton and Otley College, I would say a third of my class are young women. The impact women are making in farming will continue to rise and we are fortunate in Norfolk to be able to offer a wealth of opportunity to women looking for a career in farming, agriculture and the wider rural economy. ”
Felicity Daniels – Farmers Wife
Felicity Daniels, 65, knows a thing or two about being a farmer’s wife, a full-time role she has had since marrying husband, Simon, and moving to his family’s farm in Hemsby 35 years ago. But being on the farm is only part of Felicity’s involvement within the agricultural community.
“Aside from the day-to-day work associated with the farm, I have always been keen to help educate the public when it comes to rural issues. I have been actively involved in the education programme of the Women’s Food and Farming Union and an assistant head steward for education at the Royal Norfolk Show. I’m also involved with the Spring Fling on the organising committee and have watched it grow from 500 attendees to over 5,000.”
“Involvement in agriculture is more than a job it is a way of life that is very varied and has many opportunities. Crucially, this applies now-a-days to both boys and girls with equal merit.”
Sally-Ann Mitchell MBE – Norfolk’s Honorary Secretary of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI)
Broadland farmer Sally-Ann Mitchell, 59, from Repps-cum-Bastwick, has been instrumental in raising almost £1,000,000 for RABI, the national farmer’s charity. Sally’s quarter of a century involvement with the Norfolk branch was recognised in this year’s New Year Honours list for services to farming and rural communities in Norfolk.
“I was extremely honoured to have been awarded the MBE and was rather chuffed that Prince Charles carried out the investiture as he is the champion of rural good causes and very mindful of what goes on in the rural and farming industries. The Investiture was something I will remember and treasure all my life.
“While I am dedicated to charity work, I am a farmer’s daughter and I am a farmer’s wife – the latter being my main job. We farmers’ wives are a breed of our own, we can turn our hand to most things if we have to, whether it is tractor driving, working on the potato grader, book-keeping or running errands; multi-tasking is what we do!
“Norfolk’s agricultural community provides us with so much, but it is essential we don’t forget to give something back, which is why the work of RABI and charities such as the RNAA are crucial, regardless of whether it’s a man or a woman wearing the wellies!”