Shake Shack Leadership Retreat

Last month, Shake Shack held its annual Leadership Retreat for their employees near Albany, New York at Lake George.  Niman Ranch was invited to attend to present a workshop to promote awareness about humane animal care and traditional farming methods. With Shake Shack using only Niman Ranch bacon, it was important for them to share where it is coming from with their employees.

Sarah Willis, Niman Ranch farmer advocate who lives in Iowa, joined me to present on the evening of Monday, May 14th. In this workshop, we discussed background information on the company, more about our farmers and our high standards and protocols that create the best bacon possible. We also discussed how Niman Ranch supports young farmers and agriculturalists through the Next Generation Scholarship Fund, new Gilt Stocking Program and many more incentives that benefit the traditional farm family.

After speaking about Niman Ranch bacon, I became known as the “bacon girl” the rest of the time I was at Lake George. After our workshop, Sarah and I were invited to a supper with everyone to mingle with the employees. After supper, we got to listen to a few speakers before lighting sparklers for the “Official Kickoff” for the retreat. This was an AMAZING moment for me to be around hundreds of people helping one another light their sparklers and then walk around for a few minutes at dusk with hundreds of sparklers lighting the way.

It was amazing to be a part of Shake Shack’s weekend with employees. Getting to speak with their mission-minded team. It was great to talk one-on-one and in groups about Niman Ranch, our products and our farmer’s way of life. It was awesome. I would like to thank Shake Shack one more time for their support of our family farmers and for using Niman Ranch products! Their purchases help support me and my family’s future. It was great to see it all come full circle.

Jaclynn Knutson is a two-time Niman Ranch Next Generation Scholarship Award Winner. She will graduate from South Dakota University debt free.


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