premium quality lamb
- ABOUT US -
When our family moved to Shutelake, Jennifer was not particularly interested in animals, or the outdoors! However, an encounter with a goat named Jane and the surprise birth of her two kids had Jen hooked on farming!
Throughout her teenage years, Jen volunteered on local farms and built up a menagerie at home consisting of goats, sheep, donkeys, chickens and ducks; she could always be found pottering in the yard or walking the dogs around the land. At school she decided to be a vet, but the A-level grades eluded her. “Every cloud has a silver lining,” so they say, because the resulting decision to study animal science took her to agricultural college, and it was during these years she developed even more of an interest in farming and, in particular, sheep. Time spent working on a sheep farm during weekends and holidays allowed her to gather a wealth of knowledge and skills. Three years later, the building of the brand new vet school on her very campus in Nottingham allowed her to fulfil her ambition to become a vet and she then went on to study veterinary medicine.
She was intent on finding a way to be part of the agricultural community and make a difference in the farm animal production industry.
Once graduated, she worked as a farm vet in Devon and loved every minute of her job, especially building relations with the sheep farmers and generating her smallholder sheep support network “The Sheep Vet.” However, she found the constant TB testing of cattle and the heartbreak it caused to dairy and beef farmers a strain and decided there was something else calling her; the land at Shutelake – perhaps she could farm it? Being a full time vet would make this hard and so for a while, she switched roles becoming a technical advisor to a farm animal nutrition company.
So in 2016, the first Shutelake Lambs were born, as was her son Thomas, all at the same time! Lambing sheep and having a baby was a tough call, so thank goodness for mother Jill AKA 'shepherdess no. 1', who was on hand to help! Jen’s parents and husband have always been supportive of her farming the land and the family are all passionate about the venture. Jill helps Jen on most practical aspects of sheep handling during the week, and on occasion where heavier work is required, husband Adam comes in to help. Sister Sally and Dad Nigel, both accountants, are on hand to lend advice regarding the farm finances. Since William was born in 2019, Nigel is usually chief toddler minder or baby holder too! So all in all, this farm is a family affair and as such, much love and dedication goes into every aspect of what we do.