Our Story

Four Hills Farm

About 4 Hills Farm

Four Hills Farm is located on Troy Pike in Versailles, Kentucky

Jim Mansfield in Abbot, Maine, where Michael Piehl developed the Katahdin breed. Jim’s cousin owns part of the Piehl farm.

The Kathadin sheep we raise are hardy and thrifty. They have been refined through years of breeding to produce mild flavored, gourmet quality meat from a pasture based production system. Katahdin sheep are an American Heritage breed. We are call our Katahdin lamb “New American Lamb” because we believe they are a unique and up-coming breed offering many favorable attributes to the American lamb market. These sheep thrive on a forage based diet, lamb outside on their own, and, most importantly, produce an excellent gourmet quality meat.

They are a hair sheep breed which means they do not have to be sheared. They shed their winter coat naturally. This contributes to their mild flavor due to no lanolin production from wool. Katahdin sheep are smaller than traditional American-raised wool sheep.The chops and roasts will be smaller resulting in lower costs for each cut of meat. We are the first sheep farm in the United States to earn a GAP 4 step-rating for our animal welfare practices.

Gourmet Quality New American Lamb is:
• Delicious!!!
• Lean and tender with just the right amount of finish for great flavor and excellent cooking quality
• Raised on pasture for high levels of beneficial CLA and favorable Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acid ratios
• Produced on family farms in Kentucky

We produce our lambs with:
• A farming system is based on excellent pastures, rotational grazing and free range animal production
• All vegetarian feed
• No feedlots, antibiotics, added hormones or steroids  used
• Product traceability and quality production assurance systems in place

About Katahdin Sheep

Katahdin sheep are an American Heritage breed that was developed by Michael Piel of Abbot, Maine. The breed is named for Mount Katahdin, the highest mountain in Maine. Mr. Piel had a flock of several thousand and spent over twenty years cross breeding sheep to develop the Katahdin breed. 

By crossing Caribbean haired sheep that naturally shed their winter coats with English wooled breeds that had good meat qualities, he developed a composite breed that produced excellent quality meat and required no shearing. Katahdins have proven to be a highly adaptable breed that is in demand throughout the Americas. Farmers like them because of their hardiness and easy care qualities. Consumers like them because of the excellent quality, mild flavored gourmet lamb they produce.

Katahdin Sheep

Katahdin Sheep

Characteristics of the Katahdin Sheep Breed:

• Single purpose breed (no wool)

• Excellent quality, gourmet, mild flavored meat

• No shearing

• Hardy moderate size sheep that thrive on forages

• Excellent mothers

• Easy lambing (can lamb unassisted, outside on pasture)

• Vigorous lambs (by day two you can’t catch the little rascals!)

• Adaptability

• High Fertility

• Non-seasonal breeding

• Parasite tolerance

• Low-Maintenance

More information about Katahdin sheep can be found at: www.katahdins.org

Staff

CEO Jim Mansfield began raising Katahdin Hair sheep at Four Hills Farm in Mercer County in 2005. His sons Russell and Patrick worked on the farm until they went to college.
Chelsea Barbour owns and operates her business High Five Farm on 2 leased acres in Versailles, KY. With her partner, she grows vegetables, herbs, and flowers for their sliding scale CSA and local farmers markets. She enjoys wildflower and tree identification, sending postcards, Quaker meeting for worship, and tidying up. Learn more about Chelsea and High Five Farm at www.highfivefarmky.com or instagram @highfivefarmky. Chelsea is a member of Four Hills Farm's money management team.
Lynn Pruett began learning about the sheep enterprise in 2008 and now serves as the farm’s media director and is vice president..
Katie Miller LaCourse is the farm shepherd. Katie LaCourse joined the team at Four Hills Farm in 2020 as the Shepherdess where her work includes providing full care for the ewes, lambs, rams and dogs. Raised in Woodford Co. KY, Katie graduated from the University of KY with a BS in Communications. After several years in tax auditing and banking, she has realized her dream at Four Hills, working with Jim and Lynn.

 

Four Hills Farm is located on Troy Pike in Versailles, KY. We raise sheep and market fresh lamb year-round. The Katahdin sheep we raise are hardy and thrifty.  They have been refined through years of breeding to produce mild flavored, gourmet quality meat from a pasture based production system. Katahdin sheep are an American Heritage breed.

We call our Katahdin lamb “New American Lamb” because we believe they are a unique and up-coming breed offering many favorable attributes to the American lamb market. These sheep thrive on a forage based diet, lamb outside on their own, and, most importantly, produce an excellent gourmet quality meat. They are a hair sheep breed which means they do not have to be sheared. They shed their winter coat naturally. This contributes to their mild flavor due to no lanolin production from wool. Katahdin sheep are smaller than traditional American-raised wool sheep.The chops and roasts will be smaller resulting in lower costs for each cut of meat.