We at Niman Ranch have many friends who have a breadth of knowledge about sustainability, food and farming. We occasionally ask them to share their expertise so we can share a wider range of thoughts and topics with our blog patrons. You'll find pieces by Simran Sethi and Michael Schwartz, as long as tidbits from members of the Niman Ranch team.
James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurant owner, Chef Michael Schwartz, will be returning to Des Moines, Iowa for the 20th anniversary of the Hog Farmer Appreciation Dinner. He joined us to cook great food for our family farmers back in 2011 and was so popular that he was invited back for this year’s special anniversary.
Family farmer John Gilbert started selling pigs to Niman Ranch 20 years ago when he and his wife were young parents to three small children. Their oldest son John joined the family farm and today the father-son duo are still raising hogs for Niman Ranch. read more
Last year we gathered some information on the scope and sentiment of our hog farmer network. Our non-scientific Farmer Survey consisted of three open-ended questions; more than 97 farmers responded and the survey results were inspiring.
The Sibbel farm has been in the family since 1919 so it was no surprise that Niman Ranch farmer, Scott Sibbel, inspired by his dad and two grandfathers, was eager to start farming at a young age. Today, Scott raises hogs and cattle for Niman Ranch on the family farm in Iowa in the traditional and sustainable way his grandfathers did. Scott says they taught him to farm so that “hogs are able to act like hogs” and the “cattle able to act like cattle”. That sounds like good advice!
Scott and his wife Martha have two children, Anthony and Ellie.
Scott took some time to come in from the field and answer a few questions in today’s Q&A with a Niman Ranch Farmer.
We start with pork humanely and sustainably raised by small independent family farmers exclusively for us to our strict animal welfare protocols – the highest standards in the industry which eliminates the use of gestation crates or farrowing crates; never-ever allows for antibiotics or growth promotants, and uses only vegetarian feeds.
Chef Michael Schwartz, chef/owner of Michaels Genuine, Harry’s Pizza and The Genuine Kitchen, uses Niman Ranch meat on the menus of his restaurants in Miami and the Cayman Islands. In 2011 he honored our farmers by cooking at the Niman Ranch 14th Annual Hog Farmer Appreciation dinner.
He recently published Michael’s Genuine Food Down-To-Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat, in which he shares recipes for dishes you know and love from Caramelized Onion Dip with Thick Cut Potato Chips to Crispy Sweet & Spicy Pork Belly with Kimchi and crushed peanuts. Find a delicious recipe for leg of lamb perfect for your holiday or summer grilling celebrations.