Ellensburg All Natural Lamb is a co-op of family farms including S. Martinez Livestock, Nick and Mark Martinez; Hay Creek Ranch, Gordon Clark; and Krebs Ranches, Clint Krebs. Located in the coastal regions and valleys of Washington, Oregon and northern California, the mild, temperate climate and consistent rainfall in the northwest produces lush green grass, making it a prime region for producing grass-fed, pasture raised natural lamb. Ellensburg lambs are raised on pastures of rye grass, alfalfa and broccoli.
After their grandfather and uncle went from being shepherds to owning a flock, S. Martinez Livestock was officially established and is currently managed by brothers Nick and Mark Martinez. Today, the third-generation, family-owned sheep business has about 5,000 head and is Washington’s largest of its kind.
Because lambs are never given hormones or growth stimulants, they qualify for Farmer’s Mark all-natural program. And being from the Ellensburg, Washington area, the lambs qualify for the company’s branded “Ellensburg Lamb” program.
“If you’re in a grocery store in Washington and see advertising for Ellensburg Lamb, that meat could be from one of our lambs,” Nick states. “We take a lot of pride in our lambs meeting the criteria for this branded product.”
While it’s evident that Nick and Mark both really enjoy the production side of the business, both also smile when they talk about providing Washington consumers with a consistently high-quality, locally owned and raised product.
“How many livestock producers can say with confidence that what they are producing is being served in their own state?” he queries. “It makes us feel good when we see a consumer pick up a package of lamb labeled Ellensburg Lamb and comment about liking the fact that the lamb was locally born and raised.”
All of the Ellensburg ranchers are dedicated to producing a natural lamb product. No animal is ever fed hormones or antibiotics, and each animal is tracked from birth. Ellensburg Lamb is a U.S. Department of Agriculture-approved program with standards surpassing other natural lamb in the market.