This week on The Farm Report, host Erin Fairbanks kicks off a multi-part series on the lamb and sheep industry, first welcoming John Wilkes, a US based livestock consultant, writer and speaker with a background as a UK sheep and beef producer and farmer to the program. Opening the show with a brief history of the sheep’s rise and fall, John explains the significance of sheep in the histories of both the United States and United Kingdom, as well as around the world. John also explains some basic terminology, talking the differences between lamb and sheep, the true definition of mutton, along with the differences between wool and meat breeds. After the break, Erin is joined by Keith Martin of Pure Bred Lamb and Elysian Fields Sheep Farm. Located on 200 acres of farmland in Greene County, Pennsylvania, Keith is the supplier of sheep to notable chefs, like Thomas Keller. Due to observing the natural lifecycle of sheep flocks and thus changing his initial style of farming, Keith goes into detail about his patented system, Safe Alternative, that describes this manner in which his sheep are raised. Tune in for an info-packed episode, ewe won’t be disappointed! This program was brought to you by Heritage Foods USA.
“Lamb is an animal that doesn’t see its first birthday… which means that they are killed at their prime when the meat is at its best. ” [11:20]
— John Wilkes on The Farm Report
“I had to make a change… I looked around me at that time and to those that I respected most… and they were all farmers.” [23:09]
“I began to notice, through observation, what their needs were. We call that today ‘the voice of the lamb.'” [27:52]
— Keith Martin on The Farm Report