Farmers Elaine and Howard Dustin are animal people. That much is clear immediately as we meet them at their farm, Belfair Farms in Lawrenceburg, 90 minutes south of Nashville. Along with their 138 sheep, they have 10 dogs, 40 chickens and 8horses. Having grown up in Florida herding cattle on horseback, Elaine is clearly at home with her animals. And while she adores her horses, sheep are their current passion. Upon moving to Tennessee from Massachusetts five years ago, the couple couldn’t find any good lamb. “Get me 2 ewes and a ram so I can have my own meat,” she told husband Howard. But “just like potato chips, you can’t have one” Elaine laughed, so now they have a herd of hearty American Katahdins and black-headed Dorpers. They formed “Ladies of the Lamb”with fellow female farmer Judy Conway in 20xx. Xx years later, Judy retired leaving Howard and Elaine with the moniker. Today, they’re phasing out the Dorpers, though to focus strictly on the Katahdins, who have the best tasting meat. The Katahdins are special in that they naturally shed, and are raised solely for meat. They grow a winter coat, that they instinctively rub off on the fence (at which point, the birds use for their spring nests). In contrast, other breeds, such as the more common Suffolk, grow a heavier wool coat that contains lanolin, which is what can give lamb an off-taste “like a wool sweater,” laughs Howard. The Katahdins don’t have lanolin, hence their meat is sweeter and milder. With sheep come shepherds. And theirs are prized Akbash — Turkish guard dogs. They haver their own herding instincts, and go to heroic efforts to protect their flock. According to Elaine, they can snatch a hawk from the air if too close to the sheep.
Ladies of the Lamb is a family owned and managed sheep farm bringing you quality lamb cuts and sheeps milk cheese. We raise Katahdin Meat Sheep without Growth Hormones, Antibiotics or soy. Our lambs are grass fed and grain finished. We process our sheep in a USDA facility that dry ages for two weeks and cuts/packages according to our specifications.
Although we are no longer in a partnership with Belfair Farms, they continue to operate at Nashville Farmers Market & St George Farmers Market under Ladies of the Lamb. Come check out our products
Preparing your Meat Tips: Marinades and Rubs are most flavorful when meat can marinate for at least 4 hours - overnight. When using frozen meat, please give it time to thaw. Overnight in the fridge is the best option. DO NOT microwave meat. Make sure meat is at room temperature before cooking.