Umpqua Valley Lamb Producer Profile | PCC Natural Markets

Umpqua Valley Lamb

The Freepons, Panner, Sanberg and Wahl families

Producer Profile

Ranchers: The Freepons, Panner, Sanberg and Wahl families

Located in: Riddle, Ore.

Supplying PCC since: the 1990s


Supplies PCC with: Fresh, tender, pasture-raised lamb.

More healthful: Pasture-fed lamb is milder in flavor, higher in protein and lower in fat than grain-fed lamb.

Fresh: While New Zealand lamb can take months to arrive and typically is gas flushed and "cryo-vac" sealed, Umpqua arrives in our stores within days.

Umpqua Valley

A three-family operation

Since the early 1990s, a group of hardworking ranch families in southwestern Oregon have raised and direct-marketed fully grass-fed lamb to a few natural foods stores in Oregon. PCC is one of the few places to the north that you can buy this delicious Umpqua lamb.

The Umpqua Valley is a place where the green fields are lush even in January. It's no wonder that lambing is a continuing event throughout the year in their region. This makes it possible for PCC staff to place weekly orders each month of the year, and to receive absolutely fresh lamb just days later and never frozen. The result of this extraordinary freshness is that an increasing number of you are "discovering" the Umpqua lamb, returning for more the next week, and friends are telling friends.

Mounting evidence suggests that free-ranging, healthy and fully grass-fed animals, grown on land not treated with chemicals, may produce the most healthful meat for humans to consume. This is especially intriguing because of the type and quality of fat found in the meat of pasture-raised animals as opposed to those kept confined and bulked up on high quantities of grain.

The fat that's getting all the attention is known as CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid, and some studies show it appears to block tumor growth, and may possess many other important health benefits. Animals grazing on pasture produce more CLA. Range-grazing also means that naturally rich fertilizers are recycled directly back into the pasture and the cycle continues.

When you purchase Umpqua Valley Lamb, you are making a direct investment in the continued rural economic health and survival of their community. PCC is pleased to be a part of bringing you together. Thank you! And enjoy.

By Goldie Caughlan, Sound Consumer, March 2002. Updated February 2013.

More about: lamb, local food, pastured meat and dairy, Umpqua Valley Lamb