My name is Anthony Scheer and I have been raising hogs for Niman Ranch since I was twelve years old. After receiving the David Serfling Memorial Scholarship I was asked to represent Niman farmers and the Next Generation Scholarship recipients at some scholarship fundraisers. Most recently I was asked to travel to Sarasota, Florida for a dinner at Mattison’s Forty-One.
Before the event at Mattison’s, I went to my first ever food show with four other Niman Ranch employees. The building was filled with restaurant owners excited about how good our charcuterie cuts were. I had a lot of fun telling people about how the animals are raised. They were impressed not only by our Never-Ever protocol, but by the fact that we are “certified humane”. Along with spreading the word about Niman, I was lucky enough to meet some of the staff at Cheney Brothers, one of our new distributors.
The great Niman Ranch employees I was with made sure I wasn’t bored after working. Following dinner one night we walked to the beach so I could touch the ocean for the first time. It was a pretty cool experience for me, being an Iowa native. We even got to try some of the local seafood, including whole fried shrimp, even the heads!
Finally came the big event on Wednesday night! Dan Smith and I stopped by Mattison’s Forty-one to meet Paul Mattison himself and Chris Benziger of Benziger Family Winery. We made a game plan for what would happen that evening and enjoyed some fantastic wines and lunch while getting to know one another a little bit. After lunch we went our separate ways until the brief reception before dinner. This was when I got the chance to talk to some of the supporters of the Next Generation Scholarship and thank them for their contributions.
The dinner ran smoothly from beginning to end with each of Paul Mattison’s outstanding courses. The guests commented on the delicious food and wine pairings all evening. Everyone left the restaurant with a big smile on their face not only from the meal, but from Chris Benziger’s hilariously told stories and hopefully a couple of my own. I couldn’t have asked for a better evening.
I had an amazing experience working with all the people from Niman Ranch and those associated with our company. Thank you to all who have donated their time or money to the Next Generation Scholarship fund as it has made a large impact in my life and surely many others.
Learn more about the Niman Ranch Next Generation Foundation and see how it impacts the next generation of farmers.