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Home>Niman Ranch Awards $106,000 in Scholarships to 32 Students That Want to Stay Connected to Sustainable Agriculture

Niman Ranch Awards $106,000 in Scholarships to 32 Students That Want to Stay Connected to Sustainable Agriculture

Niman Ranch Awards $106,000 in Scholarships to 32 Students That Want to Stay Connected to Sustainable Agriculture

09/28/2017

Niman Ranch Awards $106,000 in Scholarships to 32 Students That Want to Stay Connected to Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainable agriculture leader helps students reduce loan debt by awarding scholarships for college

Niman Ranch, a national leader in sustainable agriculture and humane livestock practices, awarded 32 scholarships totaling $106,000 through its annual Next Generation Scholarship Fund. Scholarships were presented to students from Niman Ranch’s network of independent farm families during its 19th annual Farmer Appreciation Dinner in Des Moines, IA, with more than 600 people in attendance. The scholarships are designed to raise awareness around the loss of traditional farming and ranching practices, and to ultimately help maintain agriculture opportunities by providing funding for college. The money raised for the fund far exceeded all other years.

This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170927006490/en/

2017 Scholarship Award Winners: Front row from left to right (sitting) – Kallin Crile, Brandon Goell ...

2017 Scholarship Award Winners: Front row from left to right (sitting) – Kallin Crile, Brandon Goellner, Anthony Scheer, Jaclynn Knutson, Kamery Ingels, Michael Stender, Amber Miles, Caleb Schnoor. Back row from left to right (standing) – Hannah Taylor, Ruthie Carpenter, Lauren Banowetz, Brent Parker, Isabelle Stewart, Thomas Parsons, Katlynn Burke, Elle Gadient, Sarah Willis, Abigail Hansen, Alison Knutson, Sarah Hansen, Raeanna Crile, Shyann Schultz, Ashlyn Stuckey, Grant Baumetz. Not pictured: Mitchell Boros, Rachel Boros, Alyssa Frederick, Josephine Hamilton, Jessica Heiserman, Dane Kruse, Michael Mardesen, Elizabeth Scheer, Jordan Worthington (Photo: Business Wire)

Niman Ranch Founding Hog Farmer, Paul Willis, noted that 21 of the 32 award recipients were young women and that the applications from females was significantly higher than past years. The scholarships are a part of Niman Ranch’s Young Farmer 2.0 that was announced this summer to provide an open and transparent plan to grow the next generation of farmers. With student loan debt affecting two thirds of college graduates today, paying for college is a substantial barrier for young farmers and ranchers who face continually rising land costs. The number of beginning farmers in America fell by 20 percent between 2007 and 2012 alone. “Niman Ranch recognizes that combatting the burden of student loan debt is crucial to helping new farmers stay on the land,” said Willis.

Ten years ago, Niman Ranch farmers were four years older than the national average. Through a series of initiatives, the Niman Ranch network of more than 729 independent family farmers now averages 47 years old, 11 years younger than the national average. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the average age of farmers has steadily increased to 58-years-old over the last 30 years, contrary to the Niman Ranch experience.

“Initiatives like the Next Generation Scholarship Fund within the Niman Ranch farm community are part of our overall commitment to the hard-working family farmers,” said Niman Ranch general manager, Jeff Tripician. “We’re proud to support the next generation of farmers with the funds needed to get a higher education and give agriculture the prominence it deserves.”

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