Where does Full Circle get its lamb?
Full Circle makes very conscious choices when searching for suppliers. One example is their choice for lamb meat. Although quite a few lamb producers exist throughout Washington state, Full Circle made it a priority to find a supplier that both practices excellent animal husbandry and educates up and coming farmers about sustainable practices. One of Full Circle’s current lamb suppliers is Hawley Ranch, a local, sustianable family ranch in Oregon. As we cycle through their growing season we’ll soon move over to the Evergreen Students for Sustainable Animal Ag (ESSAA).
The ESSAA is a student run club that educates students on animal agriculture, animal husbandry and gives them the opportunity to participate in the management of the ewes and lambs throughout their lifecycle, educating the students on everything from animal health and reproduction to pasture management and marketing.
The ESSAA’s flock of 20 ewes are pastured in the Olympia area. The ewes and their lambs are managed by students at the Evergreen State College. Grass finished, the ewes and lambs live on grass pastures their whole lives. Portable fencing is used to rotate grazing areas for the health of the animals and of the land.
Though the meat Full Circle receives from the ESSAA is not currently certified organic, they do not feed their ewes and lambs antibiotics, instead opting for preventative management. They work hard to target the potential for disease before it becomes an issue requiring treatment. For example, the ESSAA rotates pasture often to help minimize parasite problems; they individually trim hooves of every single ewe to help reduce the likelihood of foot rot; they make sure that each and every lamb receives adequate colostrum immediately when it’s born to prevent scours.
As with all Full Circle products, we bring the finest quality to our members. Full Circle believes in supporting local farms while maintaining a wide selection and variety for our members. When our members purchase lamb through our Farm-to-Table service, it supports the education of students in animal husbandry and agriculture. This sharing of animal husbandry knowledge and opportunity for experiential learning is critical to the sustainability of agriculture.
Transparency and dialogue between producers and consumers of food is vital. Full Circle feels that these farmers exemplify sustainable meat production on a local level and are a valuable resource for our members. By supporting these growers and the processor, we are supporting sustainable agriculture, local food economies, cutting down on pesticide use and other contaminates created during conventional farming practices, and creating a healthier and happier local food system for everyone.