Niman Ranch Lamb Chili by Cody Hiemke

Few things are more satisfying on a cold Wisconsin winter day than a tasty chili and some homemade bread. I’m not sure I’ve ever made a chili the same from one time to the next, but the one consistent ingredient is lamb!  I tried to document this version, made for sampling at the Outpost Natural Foods in Milwaukee .

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Niman Ranch Joins the Perdue Family

It was announced today that Niman Ranch’s parent company, Natural Food Holdings, is being sold  to Perdue. This will not change the way we raise our animals, the quality of our products or our dedication to family farmers, ranchers and their local communities. It will allow us to grow our sustainable business and help our brand prosper into the future.

As many of you know, Niman Ranch began in the early 1970’s on an 11-acre ranch in a small coastal town north of San Francisco. The idea was to provide the community with the highest quality meat by practicing traditional, humane and sustainable animal husbandry. Fast forward 45 years later: Niman Ranch has grown to include a network of more than 700 independent family farmers and ranchers, spread across the country.

The growth of Niman Ranch is a direct result of your conscious eating. Like you, more and more people want to know where their meat comes from and how the animals are treated. By merging with Perdue, we’ll be better able to provide greater access to sustainable meat by growing the number of family farmers in our network and expanding our products into more cities to reach more consumers.

Perdue is an ideal partner to support Niman Ranch in this venture. Perdue is a US, family-owned company. In recent years, Perdue has become the leading producer of organic chicken, the leading producer of no-antibiotics-ever chicken and they also have no-antibiotics-ever turkey and pork. Niman Ranch matches Perdue’s leading position  as a trusted supplier of premium, branded proteins and aligns with Perdue’s belief in responsible food and agriculture. Together, Niman Ranch and Perdue will continue to raise the bar for raising and processing meat.

From Table to Farm: A Story of Giving Back to Farmers

The term “Farm to Table” was created in response to the growing desire of people to know where their food comes from and how it is prepared. Farm to table is more than just taking produce from a farm and putting it on your table, however; it’s fundamentally about how the produce is raised, how the farmer is compensated and who creates the final product that ends up on your plate.

But what of the term “Table to Farm?” What can both chefs and diners do to give back to the farmers who work so hard to feed us year round, and how can the farmer identify with them? Whether their farm is local to its customers or located in a rural community in the heart of this country, all farmers deserve recognition for their desire to master humanity’s most necessary craft.

Since 2007, we have partnered with several businesses in the food industry to raise money for the Next Generation Scholarship Fund, a fund that helps pay for the higher education of students from Niman Ranch family farms. This scholarship has awarded over 100 students, the majority seeking degrees in agriculture to return as the next generation on their farm.

One of these award winners is 19-year old Anthony Scheer of the Scheer Family Farm in Iowa. He was given the David Serfling Memorial Scholarship in 2014, which is awarded to the top applicant each year.

Next Gen Schol Blog - Scholarship Winner
The 2014 David Serfling Memorial Scholarship winner, Anthony Scheer. This scholarship is part of the Next Generation Scholarships given annually by Niman Ranch.

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Our 10 Favorite Labor Day Recipes

Whether you choose to host a festive barbecue or a low-key gathering this Labor Day, this is the perfect opportunity to put good food at the center of your celebration.

Here is a list of our 10 favorite Labor Day recipes that will satisfy everyone from the simplest of chefs to the most adventurous of guests.

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2015 Featured Chef: Oscar Ascota

Oscar Acosta Photo from RussIndian Creek Country Club
Executive Chef

Raised in a family where everyone cooked, Oscar Ascota’s love for great food was instilled early in life. He is Cuban-American, so pork to him is not just the “other white meat,” it’s the first meat of choice. At his restaurant, Indian Creek Country Club, he celebrates every occasion with a pig roast. His signature Cuban sandwich features pork on pork – slow roasted fresh ham marinated with mojo on boiled sweet ham.

He feels fortunate to lead the kitchens at a private country club that holds a rich tradition of culinary excellence. This allows him to source only the best products, which is what led him to Niman Ranch.  Oscar not only values the products for high quality, he is also a firm believer in the sustainability and family farming philosophies held by the company. He is truly honored to have the chance to give back to the families and individuals that work so hard to ensure that greatness translates to the center of his customers’ plates.

Of Family and Farming

Do you care where your meat comes from and want to feel confident when making purchases at the grocery store? Have you considered asking your local butcher about the farm producing the meat you are buying, and how the animals were raised on that farm?  If you haven’t, you should, because the way the animals were raised plays into the quality of the meat.

The Hawkins family raises hogs for Niman Ranch in Missouri.

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