Niman Ranch Awards 13 Next Generation Scholarships to Promote Sustainability and Preserve U.S. Family Farms

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Niman Ranch and its partners start a scholarship fund to preserve U.S. family farms and sustainable agriculture. Partners include Chipotle Mexican Grill, Whole Food Markets and other sustainable food advocates.

"As this generation’s farmers and ranchers near retirement, we are desperately struggling to persuade our children and grandchildren not to sell their family farm. We hope that this scholarship will help keep these family farms in the family.”

Niman Ranch (http://www.NimanRanch.com) established the Next Generation Scholarship Fund in 2006 to help preserve the integrity of U.S. family farms. This fund is designed to support the children of rural communities who wish to attend college in order to pursue an education with a focus on sustainable or environmental practices and who plan to return to the family farm after graduation.

Niman Ranch partners, such as sustainable food advocates, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Whole Foods Market, among others, have generously contributed to the cause, helping Niman Ranch provide nearly $80,000 in scholarships to 54 students, since the scholarships inception 4 years ago.

This year, during Niman Ranch’s 12th Annual Farmer Appreciation Dinner, Niman Ranch awarded 13 deserving students with scholarships. Each student was recognized at the event for his or her accomplishments and presented with a Next Generation Scholarship award.

Niman Ranch’s founding hog farmer, Paul Willis, “I have been a part of the Niman Ranch network for more than 10 years. Raising animals humanely and sustainably has always made sense to me, and I am grateful that more and more people are beginning to understand the importance of what our network of hard-working farmers and ranchers are doing. As this generation’s farmers and ranchers near retirement, we are desperately struggling to persuade our children and grandchildren not to sell their family farm. We hope that this scholarship will help keep these family farms in the family.”    

Niman Ranch hosted bloggers and the media for a tour of the Willis Farm after the awards. See http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/2010/09/hog-heaven-and-taste-of-karma-lized.html for a blog post about the tour.

“Niman Ranch truly believes that family farms and ranches are vital to this nation’s economic success, but it’s about more than that. It’s about sustainability, raising animals humanely, and preserving this traditional way of life,” Jeff Swain, CEO of Niman Ranch.

About Niman Ranch
Niman Ranch is a network of more than 650 sustainable U.S. family farmers and ranchers who raise livestock traditionally, humanely and sustainably to deliver the finest tasting natural meats in the world. Niman Ranch’s independent family farmers practice the highest standards of animal husbandry and environmental stewardship. Niman Ranch fresh meats and natural meat products are available at fine restaurants and select grocery stores.

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Ashley Di Blasi
Niman Ranch
303-252-9313 ext. 62
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