It started as an idea to expose how delicious lamb can really be. That idea led the Lewis & Clark Farm Bureau to submit an application for a Montana Farm Bureau Mini-Grant. When their grant application was approved, the Lamb Jam became a reality. On August 25, over 200 people filed through the Lewis & Clark County Fairgrounds to sample delicious lamb dishes prepared by three chefs from the 320 Guest Ranch near Big Sky, and Electric City Coffee and the Celtic Cowboy in Great Falls. Lewis & Clark County Board member, Jeff Patten, helped organize the Lamb Jam and penned this great wrap-up from the event.
We had about 200 plus people at the event. Ticket sales closed Friday afternoon before the event and there were still many people requesting tickets, but we were sold out. Everyone left the event very satisfied and many took the leftover food home with them. We had plenty of lamb for everyone. Another benefit, the extra leftover lamb went to God’s Love in Helena and the folks there were very appreciative of the food. This was a very cordial event where almost everyone spent a lot of time visiting with each other between dishes of lamb.
There were a number of Farm Bureau members at this event and the committee putting on the event was three-quarters Farm Bureau members. Here is a video clip of the event.
Each table had a decoration made out of wool, soap, sheep cheese and milk, and scoring cards for picking people’s choice. We gave away the table decoration, people were allowed to sample the cheese and use the milk for creamer in their coffee. This was a very nice touch that everyone had fun with and some were able to take an item home. The person who provided the cheese and milk was sold out of milk and cheese by Tuesday of the following week!
We had about 15 4-H sheep project kids helping with setup, bussing tables and visiting with the folks about their sheep project. Attendees commented on what a great job the 4-H kids did and that they were willing to visit with adults. It was great having the 4-H kids and parents there to help with this event and gave the kids many opportunities to talk about their sheep projects, practice visiting and interacting with new people, and learning new things about their sheep project and future opportunities for raising sheep.
The three chiefs prepared 9 very delicious lambs dishes. Celtic Cowboy of Great Falls took first, followed by 320 Ranch and Guesthouse in second and Electric City in third. People’s Choice was won by 320 Ranch and Guesthouse with a braised shank of lamb. Words cannot describe how good these lamb dishes were. We're looking forward to next year; there are already three other restaurants that want to participate.
Want to try adding lamb to your own menu? Find some great recipes here.