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Support Young Farmers

Support Young Farmers

For every farmer under the age of 35 years of age, there are six over the age of 65.

52 farmers lose their farms each day in America

56% of farms lost money in 2017

80% of Iowa pig farms that operated 3 decades ago are out of business today

Every hour we lose 175 acres of U.S. farmland to development.

The numbers tell us we need to help – in any and every way that we can.

In the early 2000’s, Niman Ranch saw its network of small, independent family farmers and ranchers struggle to bring the next generation back to the farm. One significant hurdle was student loan debt. We knew we could help.


Niman Ranch made a commitment in 2006 to help this next generation of farmers through a scholarship program.


This program helps in several ways:

  • It keeps farms in the family and not lost to development.

  • It ensures traditional and sustainable farming practices are passed down and not lost as agriculture becomes more industrialized.

  • It helps future farmers and agriculture leaders gain new skills and expertise, without crippling debt.


The benefits of the Next Generation Foundation scholarship program go beyond the individual farmer and farm family, creating a positive ripple effect in rural communities. Small, family farms support many local businesses, organizations and institutions like their local veterinarian, the church, hospital, and school system. For every small farm that is able to be passed down to the next generation, a rural community shares in those positive effects.


Since the Foundation’s establishment, together with the companies who sell our products, the chefs who feature Niman Ranch meats on their menus, the grocery stores who put the items on their shelves and the consumers who serve Niman Ranch to their families, we, collectively, have helped more than 270 young people who are committed to family farming and ranching. Many of these scholarship recipients have returned to the farm and their rural communities.


April Wilson

I am grateful that I was able to move back to join my family’s farming operation and continue as the next generation. It means the world to me to know that I can carry on my family’s legacy working the land and taking care of the animals, something that my grandfather did his entire life.


Mike Mardesen

An investment in a student from a farming background always pays dividends. The feelings of gratitude and purpose I have felt from receiving the Niman Ranch Next Generation Scholarship are universal among other students who have received them

You Can Help!

Join us in helping the next generation of sustainable farmers and agriculture leaders:​

Make a donation at

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