June meeting report
Old Buckenham WI’s June meeting speaker was Helen Reeve who gave an enthusiastic talk entitled “For the love of cows”. Helen had been obsessed with the idea of working with cows from an early age and at the age of eleven she had attended an Open Day at Easton College. She went on to do a National Diploma in Agriculture and subsequently a Higher Diploma which led to her being awarded the “Best Student in the College”. In addition to looking after her herd of fifty Dexter cattle, Helen has a full-time job which entails milking a herd of 150 pedigree Jersey cattle twice a day on a neighbouring farm.
Dexters are the smallest breed of cattle in the UK. They originate from Ireland, they are a tough breed and they can survive on next to nothing. After passing her GCSEs, her parents bought her a heifer called “Daisy” and three-quarters of her present herd of fifty come from that heifer. Waveney Dexter beef is obtainable from Harleston market and has earned the recognition of the BBC Master Chefs.
In addition to all her work, she has had a very prominent role in the Young Farmers Association – from her humble beginnings as Press Officer of Young Farmers in Harleston to County Chairman in 2009-2010. She also became spokesperson for the Eastern Area of Young Farmers. All this culminated in her going to Highgrove to meet Prince Charles to discuss farming issues and an invitation to a Buckingham Palace Garden Party. Helen has recently been asked by the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association to go to Singapore for a farming conference in November where she will be representing Norfolk.
Old Buckenham WI were represented at the recent National Annual Meeting in Brighton by a delegate from Attleborough WI who reported that the two resolutions concerning food wastage/food poverty and care for dementia patients in hospital were carried by an overwhelming majority. Speakers at the meeting included Baroness D’Souza, The Lord Speaker, and Rona Fairhead, Chairman of the BBC.
At the next meeting on Thursday 28 July the speakers, Marilyn Bartrup and Lynn Ready, will be explaining about 'Pension Gap Year'. The meeting starts at 7.30pm at the village hall.
The speaker at the August meeting to be held on Thursday 25 August will be Denise Janes, talking on her experiences as a Tourist Information Centre Officer.