Hi! I’m here again to tell about my second scholarship trip for Niman Ranch this summer! It seemed like I just got back from the beaches of Florida and I was already packing back up to go to the mountains of Colorado. I have been to Marczyk’s Fine Foods once before in the summer of 2014, so I knew it would be a great time, but I had no idea what surprises were in store. I arrived on Friday the 14th and spent a little time touring Denver with fellow scholarship winner, Jaclynn Knutson, and Niman employee, Danny Kirkovich. We didn’t have time to climb any mountains, but we did stand at exactly one mile above sea level on the stairs of the capitol building!
Getting down to business we decided to head over to the two Marczyk’s locations. These two stores have been wonderful partners with Niman Ranch for many years. Not only do they proudly display Niman’s labels all over their stores, but they’re also our top contributor for the Next Generation Scholarship Fund! Marczyk’s has a variety of different fundraisers including a “round-up” at the register, front porch dinners, and burger night on Fridays. I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing burger night a couple of times and I can personally tell you that they’re fantastic. I met lots of great customers that were as delighted to see me as I was to see them. They were eager to learn what Niman Ranch and the Next Generation Scholarship are all about, and some even had farming stories of their own. If you’re ever in Denver on a Friday be sure to stop by for a burger and don’t forget the bacon aioli!
Saturday, Jaclynn and I experienced something completely new. We went to an event held by Slow Food Nations, an organization that started in Italy and is focused on sustainable agriculture and knowing where our food comes from. We got to sample several different foods and listen to some great speakers. Topping the list was author and chef, Alice Waters, along with some of the contributors to the book, “Letters to a Young Farmer.”
Saturday night we arrived at the front porch dinner at Pete Marczyk’s house. Jaclynn and myself were the guests of honor and enjoyed several tasty courses with nearly 20 other guests. It was truly an experience like no other. The people I met were so passionate about where their food comes from and how it is prepared. They loved to see that there are young farmers out there that want to take over a family business and care about sustainability.
Thank you to the entire Marczyk’s team for all your hard work towards fundraising for the Next Generation Scholarship. Also, thank you to all the individuals who have given their time or money to the program. On behalf of all scholarship recipients, we appreciate your support.