A TEENAGER'S Saturday job has earned her the chance of a dream career in farming.
And the hard work Helen Day put in after those first steps has now earned an award from The Farmers Club.
The 20-year-old from Ilfracombe was placed third out of candidates from the UK in The Pinnacle Awards for excellence in farm and rural business management.
"It was overwhelming, especially as I'm not from a farming background," said Helen about the recognition.
Helen's Saturday job was with a country supplies business at Mullacott Cross and she went on to join a dairy farm at Woolacombe.
She said: "To begin with I couldn't have milked a cow. But the farm set me up and I got going and got the hang of it.
"I was offered an apprenticeship and I liked it, I caught the bug and can't get rid of it," she explained about the four years she has enjoyed milking cows, feeding and bedding the herd, driving tractors and doing all that is required on the farm.
"Now I just get in there and do it," she said.
"And now I'm doing all the theory it's a lot harder, the financial side."
Helen is now studying for a foundation degree in agricultural management at Petroc and Bridgwater Colleges.
She said: "We go out to farms, create business plans, study cash flow and prove viability, that kind of thing."
The Pinnacle Awards provide students who want to work in the agricultural industry a chance to show their potential.
Helen received £600 from the Farmers Club and a certificate presented by NFU president Peter Kendall at Whitehall.
She said of her success: "I am passionate about agriculture and believe this would be an encouraging story for non-farmers like myself, as well as youngsters from a farming background that there is a strong future for farming and to pursue a declining occupation."
The prize is going towards financing Helen's next AAT level 3 course.
"But the certificate is priceless," she added.
"I would like my own farm. I don't know if I will do it for myself but I will definitely pursue a career in agriculture."