The sheep industry has been relatively quiet and small for several decades. Their reputation was of the ol’ west rancher singing Home on the Range, but the producers we knew were different. So, when it came time to tell the modern-day story to food and fashion editors it seemed a disconnect to take them to the ol’ West.
I worked out a plan to move the Colorado-based multi-day events to Vail, a traditional ski village that had newer hotels and chefs with whom we could work. We worked with area chefs to show new ways to serve lamb, and producers who were using newer technologies and techniques to raise sheep. We also expanded the invited guest list for the Lamb/Wool Tall Timber Tour to include those making products with lamb or wool – prepackaged meals, fashion designers, woolen mills – so they could gain an understanding of the industry and use more of the product.
During the Tall Timber Tours we also took advantage of a longstanding bicycle race in Colorado to tie lamb to the health craze that had swept into Colorado. Guests enjoyed watching the race and meeting with racers at a lamb barbecue, featuring Basque-style cooking, at the end of their day’s race.