Women who Inspire Us
By Jennifer Montgomery
As seen in Entrez! Summer, 2006

Sukey Jamison
S.C. Spangler/

Jamison Farm
at a glance

Owners: Sukey and John Jamison Size of herd: Average of 150 sheep and lambs, depending on season. Butchering weekly.

Products: Whole lamb, cut to order; leg, racks, shanks, kebab chunks, steaks, roasts, stew meat, shoulder, organ meats, bones, chops, tiny T-bones.

Prepared foods: Barley soup, plain stock, pie, three kinds of sausage. Some products can be ordered only with purchase of lamb meat.

Recipes: The recipes included here are from "Recipes from Sukey and John," a small book available for $4. They were developed and tested by Sukey Jamison, co-owner.

Where to buy: Mail-order through the Web, at the farm, or at selected Giant Eagle stores.

Details: 800-237-5262 or www.jamisonfarm.com.

Sukey received WCR's Golden Plow Award, which honors a woman whose skill in farming or making artisanal products results in food that graces our plates while respecting the environment. "I was honored, surprised and grateful," says Sukey when asked how it felt to win the award. "These people really appreciate what you do. It's pretty exciting, yes indeed."

Sukey owns Jamison Farm with her high school sweetheart and husband John. The farm, which is home to a flock of sheep and lambs, sits in the rolling Appalachian foothills of Latrobe, Pennsylvania. There the sheep frolic and nibble on bluegrass and white clover at least nine months out of the year, and in the winter are hand-fed hay and corn. The lambs' 100 percent natural diet and lifestyle yield meat that is lean, firm, tender, delicate and pink, free of hormones, antibiotics, herbicides and insecticides.

The Jamison's 210-acre farm produces approximately 5,000 lambs annually, which are destined for great cooks at home, and the finest chefs and restaurants in the world. These superstars include New York City's Daniel Boulud of Daniel and Cafe Boulud, Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin, Bill Telapan of his new restaurant Telepan, Dan Barber of Blue Hill, and Alessandro Stratta of Restaurant Alex at Wynn Las Vegas.

In addition to raising lamb on the farm, the Jamisons process all their own lamb in their own plant. They feel very strongly that this direct connection between the farm and the customer, whether French chef or home cook, has allowed them to truly define sustainable agriculture, straight from the farm to the dinner plate.

Five things you might not know about Sukey Jamison:

  • She credits her relationships with Jean-Louis Palladin and Julia Child as to why she's so successful today.
  • She believes her strength is perseverance.
  • She believes that all successful people stay focused.
  • Sukey has been in the culinary industry for more than 25 years.
  • A very talented cook herself, Sukey has created a line of hand-prepared lamb dishes, which include a Lamb Stew created in collaboration with the late Jean-Louis Palladin, and Sukey's award-winning Lamb Pie.