Niman Ranch and its Committed Partners, Invest in the Preservation of Sustainable Agriculture and U.S. Family Farms Through the Niman Ranch Next Generation Scholarship Fund
Des, Moines IA., September 18, 2010 – In an effort to help preserve the integrity of U.S. family farms and encourage the next generation of farmers to continue this traditional way of life, Niman Ranch established the Next Generation Scholarship Fund, in 2006. 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 truly believes that U.S. family farms and ranches are vital to this nation’s economic success, but it’s about more than that. It’s about sustainable agriculture, raising animals humanely, and preserving this traditional American way of life,” Jeff Swain, CEO of Niman Ranch.