Tale Behind the Trail: Boise River Lamb

Tale Behind the Trail: Boise River Lamb

What if I told you the meat aisle in your local grocery store is missing an essential type of protein? Beef, chicken and fish usually occupy your cart, but it’s time to expand your horizons to the up-and-coming star of the meat industry: lamb. 

That’s where Boise River Lamb comes in. Their mission is to provide high quality, great tasting lamb to all who want it. Whether you’re an expert griller or new to cooking, Boise River Lamb’s founders, Brett and Liz Wilder, are here to provide and teach you about this nutritious, tasty protein. 

The Wilder family has been committed to Caldwell’s agricultural community since 1864, and as a sixth-generation farmer, Brett is continuing his family’s legacy through his business.  

“There haven’t always been sheep there. My ancestors did a lot of cattle and some other crops. Sheep was started by my dad’s family,” Brett said. “We raised breeding stock for other people. A lot of really high-quality animals in small quantities, which allowed us to grow our flocks over the years.” 

The Wilders began to help run the family farm in January 2020. As they continued to grow their flock, they received more requests for special cuts of lamb. 

“We would always get asked for racks of lamb or legs or ground lamb, and we never did that. We sold whole and halves of lambs, but not everyone wants a whole lamb in their freezer,” Liz said. “It got to the point that we were getting these requests from our friends or family or random people almost every week, so we just decided to do it.” 

And that’s how Boise River Lamb was born. In September, the Wilders set aside 10 lambs for meat sales, believing that would get them through the rest of the year. 

“We sold out of those 10 lambs very quickly, before they were even processed,” Liz said. “There’s a huge gap in the lamb industry and lamb in general. People really like to eat it, but they don’t know where to buy it.” 

With most lamb products coming from Australia or New Zealand, Liz explained consumers wanted domestically grown, American lamb. Bridging the gap between supply and demand, and refusing to sacrifice quality, the Wilders established and grew their business in record time. 

“This year, we expect to do 24 times the amount of business we did in 2020,” Brett said. 

With deep roots in Caldwell, the Wilders wanted to find ways to stay involved in the city’s agricultural community. From helping raise lambs for Future Farmers of America to sitting on the Agritourism Board, Brett and Liz are doing their part to give back. 

As participants of the Farm to Fork Farmers’ Market and the AgVenture Trail, Boise River Lamb attributed their connections and growth to non-profit Destination Caldwell. 

“Because we were a part of the AgVenture Trail, we participated in the Taste of Caldwell Harvest Festival last year. We partnered with Chop Shop BBQ and Chef Kriss Ott made an amazing lamb tzatziki slider,” Brett said. “Being a part of the AgVenture Trail in our first two years has been very beneficial to us.” 

As they continue to supply the Treasure Valley, and the rest of the nation, with domestic, high-quality lamb, the Wilders are grateful to have their home base in Caldwell. 

“We feel really fortunate that we’re in Caldwell of all places; this just happens to be where Brett’s ancestors decided to live,” Liz said. 

Whether you’re craving a good steak or just need to cuddle a fuzzy, little lamb, look no further than Boise River Lamb, and know the tale behind the trail. 


Written by Megan Williams

All photos courtesy of Boise River Lamb’s Facebook.