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What makes Grand Teton Lamb unique?

by Billie Jean Siddoway 11 Oct 2023 0 Comments

Grand Teton Lamb is lamb raised in a traditional transhumance range operation, grain-free, with nationwide distribution. Let’s break that down. 

For over 12,000 years, people have raised sheep for meat, milk, and wool. Before the advent of modern irrigation systems, shepherds moved sheep to green forage with the changing seasons. One of the most common transhumance grazing patterns involved the migration of sheep to higher elevations following the emergence of spring grass and then bringing herds back to more temperate valley floors for the winter. Sheep may graze on farm stubble after harvest, and then feed on cut forage when snow covers the ground. Transhumance grazing is the original regenerative farming (sheep naturally fertilize the soil and prepare the land to receive new seed). The low-impact utilization of transhumance grazing supports sustainable rangelands for livestock and wildlife (sheep move daily to new grazing areas, often not returning for a year). 

The Siddoway ranch is not the only traditional range operation. A century ago, there were hundreds of American ranches operating this way. Today, a few dozen remain. These ranches have heritage breeding stock that evolved to thrive in the very areas where the ranches are based. The sheep - the particular sheep - have become a part of those ecosystems.

A few years ago, with a cyclically depressed conventional lamb market, the Siddoway family offered their lamb directly to consumers. Lambs processed right off of the mountain have always tasted best. At that stage, lambs have not been weaned from mother’s milk and have enjoyed months of alpine herbs and wildflowers. With over a century on the same rangeland, the lambs have adapted to thrive on natural forage without grain finishing, added soy, antibiotic supplements, or hormones. The Siddoways have been fortunate to work with several committed abattoirs to bring this flavorful alpine lamb to discerning customers. With modern e-commerce and delivery systems, the online store delivers throughout the contiguous United States.

Grand Teton Lamb is unique because it is a family ranch raising heritage breeds in a traditional transhumance grazing system with a record of sustainability and without grain finishing. Although other ranches share some of these characteristics, Grand Teton Lamb is uniquely positioned to sell directly to consumers nationwide.

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