Joe and Robin Hampton have spent most of their careers deeply involved in agriculture, at the state and national level. In addition to being the Director of NC Department of Agriculture’s Piedmont Research Station for over 30 years, Joe served for eight years on the Board of Directors for the American Angus Association and was elected President for 2011. Robin worked for many years for the US Department of Agriculture in the Farm Services Agency.
Beef Cattle, Sheep, Chickens, Donkeys
Now that they are both retired, they are devoting their considerable expertise and passion to livestock production. For many years, the Hamptons exclusively sold Angus bulls selected for meat quality. Now they are focused on finishing beef, sheep, and lamb for local markets. Their region is prone to extended droughts so the Hamptons pay close attention to cultivating a diversity of forages and multi-species grazing is a key aspect of their management approach. (Joe works for Firsthand Foods as our Lamb Network Coordinator.)
Joe and Robin have forged a partnership with Jay Greenstone, owner and manager of Silver Maple Farm in Jonesville, Virginia. Nestled in a remote and mountainous area, Jay has maintained a high-performance line of Katahdin sheep that now form the basis of Back Creek’s sheep genetics. Larger framed and highly resistant to parasites, their sheep thrive outdoors on pasture and grow bigger than most Katadhin sheep. In the first three years of Firsthand Foods lamb program, Back Creek, in partnership with Jay, was able to their increase average carcass size by 150 percent. This helps all parties with profitability and marketability.