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Catherine's for Lamb

(Grand Forks,ND)

Soon after I married North Dakota farmer Kent Pfennig, I began to miss the exceptional flavor of lamb I grew up with in New Zealand. Determined to meet or exceed those lofty standards for taste and quality, I also yearned to make our Driscoll, North Dakota family farm more sustainable. Now 15 years later, my Catherine's for Lamb enterprise provides incredible-tasting lamb for chefs, retailers and families all over the region, We are only an individual family farm, but we are committed to enhancing the environment for both nature and our family. Indeed, besides raising unique lamb, we strive to make sure their three young sons and generations thereafter will also thrive with the delicate ecology of the North Dakota prairies. By blending many organic with other environmentally-sound practices like rotational grazing, which periodically rests and restores their prairie pastures, we have slowly grown our flock to 300 ewes. We now are able to give other families an opportunity to taste consistently high-quality lamb from our farm to their tables. I decided I would take the best of my native New Zealand could teach me about raising lamb, and go one step further, well, it led me to Katahdin, a breed of lamb so unique and exquisite tasting that I knew instantly this was the only lamb we as a family would raise on our farm. Katahdin sheep are a meat breed only with hair, not wool. Because they naturally shed their winter coat when warmer weather is on the horizon, Katahdin sheep need never undergo the manhandling stress of shearing (shaving the wool from their skin every spring). I believe it this lack of wool-associated lanolin that gives Katahdin lamb it delicious, never gamey flavor and contributes to its superior nutritional profile. Independent university lab tests found Katahdin lamb significantly lower in cholesterol (44.4 mg/100gms) than both domestic (72.5 mg/100gms) and New Zealand lamb (77.2 mg/100gms), yet it retains a tender, mild flavor profile that never disappoints. Docile, but unusually self-sufficient, Katahdin sheep requires less human intervention. They have a strong mothering instinct, flock naturally for their own safety and are highly resistant to disease. Katahdin lambs are born alert and strong. The flock forages on a wide range of pasture fodder, another characteristic of wild breeds and they produce the lean, healthy meat typical of such animals. UPDATE: In October 2012, Catherines for Lamb was sold to Dale and Billie Kellar and Brian Dorff in Grand Forks, ND. We are the owners of Billie's Soap & Spa Products, and the join Catherines/Billie's CSA. We are committed to the same high standards and practices and are excited to work with such a wonderful animal.

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