Homegrown Food for All at Upcoming Benefit Concert and other Live Nation Events

NORTHGLENN, COLO. (September 14, 2017) -Niman Ranch and Legends Hospitality announced sustainable and Certified Humane® meats will be served at 34 Live Nation events across the country, including this weekend’s star-studded sold-out Farm Aid concert in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania on September 16, 2017. Farm Aid’s “Homegrown, Food for All! Direct from the Family Farm” set the stage for the partnership, benefiting Niman Ranch’s more than 720 independent farms across the country.

“Legends Hospitality serves food in the most famous venues in sports and concert halls. The result is the highest quality and best tasting food to match the talent of the biggest stars,” said Kay Cornelius, vice president of retail sales for Niman Ranch. “There isn’t a better company to elevate the farming experience and honor our farmers than Legends. We are proud to partner to offer the best food possible to sports fans and concert goers across the country, including Farm Aid.” The award-winning Legends Hospitality, founded by the families who own the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys, is known for quality products and acclaimed hospitality.

At Farm Aid, the Legends and Niman Ranch partnership includes a first of a kind Topped Links Stand to serve four unique flavors of specially curated and signature gourmet sausages: bourbon, apple gouda, chipotle cheddar and kielbasa, topped with stout braised onions, green apple slaw, local pico de gallo, and house made local green apple and caraway seed kraut.  Other entrees will include a sliced charcuterie board with local cheeses at the fresh stands and wine locations. Legends is hosting a VIP event for Farmers before Farm Aid to honor their craft by serving Niman Ranch product.

Farm Aid, the iconic concert led by Willie Nelson to benefit independent U.S. farmers, will be serving Niman Ranch as part of the “Homegrown Concessions” program. Under the leadership of Legends Hospitality, the menu will feature food sourced from family farms committed to sustainability, offering a fair price to the growers.

“Event attendees expect top-notch performers, a seamless experience from ticket purchase to the last encore, and delicious food options in between. That’s why we are thrilled to offer a menu featuring Niman Ranch, a nationwide network of farmers who raise certified humane great tasting all-natural meat for Live Aid,” said Bill Wilson, Vice President at Legends Hospitality. “It is especially fitting for Farm Aid and we enjoy showcasing the food direct from family farmers.”

“We are honored to have Niman Ranch served at Farm Aid,” said Paul Willis, founding hog farmer for Niman Ranch. “We do what we do to support rural America through our network of more than 720 independent family farmers who raise livestock traditionally, humanely and sustainably. Farm Aid’s work lifts up the stories of these hardworking folks and raises critically needed funds for farmers who care for the land.”

What It Means To Be An Honorary Farmer: Marczyk Fine Foods

Marczyk's Fine Foods
Marczyk Fine Foods in Denver, CO; their location at 5100 E Colfax Avenue during their annual Burger Night Fundraiser.

 

At our annual Farmer Appreciation Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa, we present the Honorary Farmer of the Year award. This recognition is given to a Niman Ranch customer – whether it be a meat distributor, grocer or restaurant – that shows outstanding commitment to the Niman Ranch farming community. They go above and beyond being a customer to embody the true meaning of partnership in their actions towards promoting sustainable, humane agriculture.

This year, we honored a long-time friend of ours, Marczyk Fine Foods in Denver, Colorado. Owners Pete, Barbara and Paul Marczyk have increased their commitment to our Next Generation Scholarship Fund through private dinners at their home, having customers “round up” at the register, selling special items at their deli, and our favorite event of the year: Marczyk’s Burger Night. The Fund is set up to give our farmers’ children a better chance of returning to the land by curbing school loan debt. This ultimately preserves traditional farming practices and promotes the advancement of the next generation of farmers.

read more What It Means To Be An Honorary Farmer: Marczyk Fine Foods

The 2016 Niman Ranch Farmer Appreciation Dinner

The tradition of the Niman Ranch Farmer Appreciation Dinner is alive and well! We recently celebrated our 18th annual event at the Embassy Suites Downtown in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday, August 27.

Each year we painstakingly select a group of highly acclaimed chefs who meet our strict criteria. They are award –winning chefs in their regions and they have shown a real commitment to supporting Niman Ranch and our family of farmers and ranchers not only through purchasing Niman Ranch meats but by raising awareness about how our network of family farmers raise the livestock.  Most often the initial reason many chefs choose Niman Ranch is because of the outstanding meat quality, but once they realize the connection with flavor and how the animals are raised, they become advocates for our entire program.

read more The 2016 Niman Ranch Farmer Appreciation Dinner

8 Chefs 1 Cause: The Next Generation Scholarship Fundraiser at Nico Heirloom Kitchen

Fundraising Dinner Menu

It all started eight years ago at the 9th annual Farmer Appreciation Dinner. The first Next Generation Scholarship was given to a few children of our farmers with the intent of helping them pay for college so they could return to the farm. In its first year, the scholarship totaled $6,000.

Today, the Next Generation Scholarship has grown to support 23 students with over $85,000 in funds for college – an amount that wouldn’t be possible without the support of chefs who work hard to raise money across the country. This includes chefs like Gio Osso of Nico Heirloom Kitchen and Virtu Honest Craft in the greater Phoenix area.

read more 8 Chefs 1 Cause: The Next Generation Scholarship Fundraiser at Nico Heirloom Kitchen

17th Annual Farmer Appreciation Dinner

HFAD Menu
The menu from the 17th Annual Niman Ranch Farmer Appreciation Dinner

On September 26th, we hosted our most recent Niman Ranch Farmer Appreciation Dinner.  It was a moving experience – a chance for me to see just how close our community of our farmers, chefs, customers and employees have become.  We also have a whole host of people here in Iowa that continue to volunteer and support us year after year.

read more 17th Annual Farmer Appreciation Dinner

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.

2014 Farmer Of The Year

Paul Brown of Alderland Farm, Iowa

BrownFamily
Paul Brown and his family; from left: Son Derek, Wife Andrea, Daughter Allison, Son Landon

All the independent family farmers who raise livestock for Niman Ranch practice sustainable farming methods, humane animal husbandry and work within their communities to promote the family farming model. There are some, however, that stand out above the rest. In order to honor their achievements, we honor one farmer every year with the Farmer of the Year award, which is presented at the Farmer Appreciation Dinner in Iowa.

The 2014 winner came as no surprise. Paul Brown of Alderland farm has opened his home on several occasions to share his knowledge of sustainable farming and Niman Ranch. He and his family have hosted many tours over the years, from Niman Ranch groups to college groups, and even local school children. In fact, Paul is known simply as “Farmer Brown” to many local kids in his community.

read more 2014 Farmer Of The Year

16th Annual Farmer Appreciation Dinner Recap

photo 1Our annual Niman Ranch Farmer Appreciation Dinner was held on September 13, 2014 at the Embassy Suites in downtown Des Moines. It was a spectacular celebration.  Every year it seems to take on a personality of its own.  This truly was the year of the Niman Ranch Hog Farmer.  Enthusiasm for the dinner led to a record breaking number of RSVPs. After all these years, it amazes me to see how much this event has developed, not just in size, but in helping people understand how important it is to recognize our farmers for their good stewardship of the land and humane treatment of their livestock.

The outpouring of support from the food community was enormous, starting the moment we asked our selected featured chefs if they would be willing to come to Iowa and cook for our farmers. They agreed without hesitation, and many of them even paid for their sous chefs to come along.  Chef Jason Cline of St. Petersburg, FL, went even further and held a fund-raiser for the Next Generation Scholarship at his restaurant, The Birchwood.

read more 16th Annual Farmer Appreciation Dinner Recap