Earth Fest at Wellesley College

Taylor, Missouri high school senior Ruthie Carpenter, who is also a Niman Ranch hog farmer and student vice president of her local FFA chapter, traveled with her mother Carolyn to speak at Wellesley College on April 15, at the request of their director of food service, Executive Chef Keith Tyger.  He heard her speak at our annual Farmer Appreciation Dinner in 2015 and was greatly impacted by her words.  He wanted the students at Wellesley to hear from her first hand about the humane practices she employs as a Niman Ranch hog farmer and the sustainable attributes of farming this way.

Ruthie with her mother Carolyn at Wellesley for Earth Fest.
Ruthie with her mother Carolyn at Wellesley for Earth Fest.

Wellesley College is one of the top institutions of higher education in the country and widely acknowledged as the nation’s top women-only college. It is located in the town of Wellesley, Massachusetts, just west of Boston. In 2015, Wellesley was ranked fourth among four-year liberal arts colleges in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.

Over the past few years, Chef Tyger established a relationship with Niman Ranch in order to offer the students at Wellesley College sustainable and humanely-raised all natural pork and beef from animals that are never treated with antibiotics or added growth hormones. Because of him, Wellesley uses 100% Niman Ranch meats in their dining services.

Chef Keith Tyger, far right, with other guests during the 2015 Niman Ranch Farmer Appreciation Dinner farm tour.
Chef Keith Tyger, far right, with other guests during the 2015 Niman Ranch Farmer Appreciation Dinner farm tour.

Wellesley Fresh Earth Day has become an anticipated event on campus.  Sustainable farmers and ranchers who supply the school are invited to provide tastings and information sessions. Students are encouraged to interact with guest farmers, ranchers and fishermen. In 2014, I attended this wonderful event and was proud to help facilitate Ruthie’s involvement this year.  Thank you to Wellesley College and Chef Tyger for creating this exceptional opportunity for Ruthie to speak directly to your students, providing them with a deeper understanding about our practices and the importance of supporting our network of family farmers.

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