A young Norfolk cattle farmer with "livestock in her DNA" has been handed a new national role to champion the future of the beef industry.

Annabelle Howell, 22, has been appointed as the first young ambassador for the National Beef Association (NBA), which represents the interests of British beef farmers.

Having been devoted to the industry from an early age, she joins the NBA "both as an inspiration to the next generation of beef farmers, and as an important part of the association’s management team for the future".

She has always been "deeply involved" with her family’s 700-head cattle finishing business and, at the age of 15, she started her own pedigree Charolais herd at her family's farm in Bintree, near Fakenham.

She won a "young stockperson of the year" title in 2018, qualified for three national stock judging finals before becoming an official Charolais judge at the age of just 22.

Alongside working with her father in cattle production, Miss Howell's livestock career has included working for a dairy enterprise milking 350 cows, as a Wagyu coordinator at ABP York, and in livestock procurement for Pickstock Telford.

Her new NBA post gives her a national platform to champion the industry she loves.

“I am incredibly excited to be joining the NBA and supporting the breeders and farmers who are taking our industry forward in these changing and challenging times," she said.

"We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a positive future for the beef industry, with a growing focus on sustainable farming and breeding better animals to achieve a quality product while being more efficient and making a major contribution to cutting carbon and regenerating our environment.

“I am looking forward very much indeed to being part of this fascinating journey."

NBA chief executive Neil Shand said: "Annabelle’s credentials are unique and her professional and personal qualifications are tailormade for this role.

"She has livestock in her DNA and an astonishing breadth and depth of knowledge and experience covering every aspect from the day-to-day practicalities of farming to the sophisticated science of genetics and breeding, and the economic realities of marketing.

"Most importantly, she brings a deep and genuine passion for livestock and the people who are taking this traditional and essential part of our farming heritage into the future."