One Million Dollars in Grants and Scholarships Keep Young Farmers on the Land through Niman Ranch Next Generation Foundation

Niman Ranch announces numerous farmer awards and recognitions at pioneering meat brand’s 23rd annual Hog Farmer Appreciation Dinner

Des Moines, Iowa, Sept. 28, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- This year, the Niman Ranch Next Generation Foundation, the philanthropic arm of sustainable and humane meat leader Niman Ranch, awarded over $170,000 in scholarships and grants to 39 young farmers and future rural leaders from nine states. With this most recent round of giving, the Foundation has distributed over one million dollars through 363 scholarships and grants since 2006 when the program was started. Recipients use these funds to defray the cost of higher education or invest in getting started on the farm, helping more young farmers stay on the land and support their rural communities. The scholarship and grant awards are made possible through the generous support of Niman Ranch partners from across the country.

The scholarship and grant recipients were announced during Niman Ranch’s 23rd annual Hog Farmer Appreciation Dinner. In addition to the scholarship announcements, awards were granted to Niman Ranch hog farmer families recognizing superior meat quality, leadership, ten- and twenty-year partnerships with the company and more. Additionally, this year for the first time, the Next Generation Foundation awarded two grants for young farmers to invest in their operations. Securing initial financing as a young farmer is one of the most challenging and critical aspects of getting started—this new grant eases this transition.

“The recipients of these scholarships and grants provide hope and inspiration for the future. Their experience on Niman Ranch farms instill them with a strong work ethic and deep commitment to sustainable agriculture and their rural communities,” said Alicia LaPorte, Executive Director of the Niman Ranch Next Generation Foundation. “We are humbled and grateful for the Niman Ranch customers, partners and others who made generous donations this year to support these deserving young leaders.”

At the award ceremony, Niman Ranch recognized seventeen farm families for twenty years of partnership with the brand. Niman Ranch premiered a video at the event celebrating these farm families that can be viewed here.

“We are so grateful to the farm families who have been with us on the Niman Ranch journey for twenty years,” said Paul Willis, Niman Ranch’s founding hog farmer. “When I started Niman Ranch’s pork company in 1995, I could only dream of where we are today. These farm families have been core partners to Niman Ranch and shared believers in our mission for a better food system.”

The full list of farmer award winners can be viewed below:

Honorary Niman Ranch Hog Farmers

Fred Kirschenmann
Distinguished Fellow, The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture
President Emeritus, Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture

Mark Rasmussen
Director Emeritus, The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

Niman Ranch Sustainable Farm of the Year

The Gilbert Family
Gibraltar Farm
Iowa Falls, Iowa

20-Year Niman Ranch Farm Families

Arnold Family Farm
Elizabeth, IA

Brown Family Farm
New Providence, IA

Heun Family Farm
Bouton, IA

Kaiser Family Farm
Wynot, NE

Kenyon Family Farm
Mallard, IA

McNees Family Farm
New Market, IA

Mordhorst Family Farm
Ute, IA

Nuessmeier Family Farm
St. Peter, MN

Reding Family Farm
Wesley, IA

Roberts Family Farm
Sidney, IA

Scott Family Farm
Wellsville, MO

Svatora Family Farm
Schuyler, NE

Taylor Family Farm
Rock Valley, IA

Ubben Family Farm
Aplington, IA

Wessman Family Farm
Albert City, IA

Wright Family Farm
New Market, IA

Yoder Family Farm
Mount Ayr, IA

10 Year Niman Ranch Farm Families

Blomgren Family Farm
Butterfield, MN

Tiefenthaler Family Farm
Breda, IA

Parker Brothers Family Farm
Bussey, IA

Miller Family Farm
Pulaski, IA

Crowe Family Farm
Monroe City, MO

Reiff Family Farm
Reinholds, PA

Meat Quality Award Winners

Brent Menke
Nelson, NE

T & K Pork
Mendon, IL

Chuck & Dan Regier
Newton, KS

Brandon & Nicole Portner Family
New Ulm, MN

Caleb Miller & Family
Wayland, IA

Dale & Mary Jane Dent
Newark, MO

Travis Flaherty
Stratford, IA

Bruce & Nolan Zachman
Belgrade, MN

Miller Hogs & Hay
Woodward, IA

Nuessmeier Family Farm
St. Peter, MN

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About Niman Ranch

Niman Ranch is a community of more than 750 independent family farmers and ranchers who raise pork, beef and lamb traditionally, humanely and sustainably to deliver the Finest-Tasting Meat in the World®. Niman Ranch is the largest farmer and rancher network in North America to be Certified Humane®.  The protein of choice for America’s most celebrated chefs, Niman Ranch is also the premier option for discerning home cooks looking for meats Raised with Care®, with no antibiotics or added hormones—ever. Follow Niman Ranch on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


The Niman Ranch Next Generation Foundation has awarded over one million dollars in scholarships and grants to young farmers and future rural leaders since 2006. Photographed here is the Brown family in New Providence, Iowa. The Browns are celebrating 20 years in partnership with Niman Ranch. Jeff Kruse and his daughter Kelsey on their family farm in Silver City, Iowa where they raise pigs for Niman Ranch. Kelsey is a past Next Generation Foundation scholarship recipient.

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