Local Lamb

Pasture-raised meat from Highland County

Photo courtesy of Meadow’s Pride Farm.

Just 35 miles north of the Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, over the Bath-Highland County line, is Meadow’s Pride Farm in Monterey. Here, Jon Donaldson raises sheep for lamb meat, in addition to growing select produce crops. He, a West Virginia-native, and his wife, whose hometown in Monterey, both came from farming families. In 2012, they joined with other area farmers to start a local processing facility, enabling them to market their meat directly to restaurants. Now, in addition to selling meat wholesale to restaurants, Meadow’s Pride retails lamb at select stores, such as JM Stock Provisions in Charlottesville, and accepts orders in select towns, including Hot Springs, Harrisonburg, Staunton, Charlottesville, and Richmond. Donaldson raises a crossbreed that is primarily Dorset, a heritage breed from England, mixed with Polypay, an American breed.Although most sheep are seasonal breeders, Dorset sheep are year-round breeders, allowing Donaldson to ensure a steady supply of lamb. His lambs are pasture based all year, eating hay in the summer and non-GMO barley in other months. Because of this, “The lamb is always the same, a consistent quality,” he says.

Meadow’s Pride supplies both lamb meat and produce to the Homestead. “It’s wonderful that [the Homestead team] takes the time, searches our farmers, and spends a little more, but buys local,” says Donaldson.

“I love working with the lamb from Meadow’s Pride because of the flavor and consistency of the product,” says chef John Ferguson. “The flavor is both subtle and rich; the texture tender, but firm. No matter the cut, no matter the application, we always have a robust, yet delicate product that we feel honored to provide for our guests.” MeadowsPrideFarm.com


For lamb recipes from chef Ferguson, check out our June 2020 issue.

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