DENVER — Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 — Gov. John Hickenlooper will grill lamb chops Thursday afternoon in advance of mailing a special package to Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley to settle a friendly bet over last weekend’s football game. In that package will be 12 lamb chops from the Triple M Bar Ranch in Manzanola.

WHEN: 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013

WHERE: West steps, State Capitol

The governor will be joined by Triple M Bar Ranch ranch owners David and Mary Miller. Their ranch headquarters sits on Buckeye Hill in Crowley County, overlooking the Arkansas River Valley.

Triple M Bar Ranch lamb meat is all natural, which means no growth hormones or antibiotics are used. The meat also has a unique, mild flavor due to the feed used to grow lambs. The lambs begin on grass pastures then go to melon and vegetable pastures, including tomatoes, chilies, peppers, onions, okra and eggplant. The lambs graze on crop stubble during winter months and are processed before they turn 1 year old at a USDA-inspected facility in southern Colorado.

The Millers are members of Colorado Proud, which was created by the Colorado Department of Agriculture in 1999. The program promotes Colorado food and agricultural products, makes it easier for consumers to identify and purchase Colorado products by labeling them with the Colorado Proud logo, raises consumer awareness of the benefits of buying locally grown, raised and manufactured products.

The Colorado Proud Program now has more than 1,800 members that include growers, processors, restaurants, retailers and associations statewide.

Hickenlooper is sending lamb chops to O’Malley because the Denver Broncos lost to the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday. Had the Broncos won the game, O’Malley would have sent 12 Chesapeake Bay crab cakes to Colorado.