ButcherBox’s Commitment to the Next Generation of Family Farmers

Kerin Norton, ButcherBox
ButcherBox team and Mike Mardesen in Iowa

At ButcherBox, our mission is to show the world that food can be done better. Whether it’s paying farmers fair and predictable living wages, allowing our animals to move freely and eat food their bodies were designed to, rewarding regenerative agriculture practices, or giving our members an unparalleled eating experience, we believe in a world where all of these elements of the food system can coexist. Our mission not only informs how we do business, but it is the foundation of how we give back and why we are proud to support the scholarship program for young farmers through the Niman Ranch Next Generation Foundation.

The average age of a US farmer is nearly 60 years old. It’s no secret the financial component of farming makes it a difficult industry for young men and women to get into. When you layer the land availability and skillset required to start-off, the difficulties continue. These complexities and challenges are why the work Niman Ranch is doing to help lessen the burden of student loan debt for young farmers to get started and carry on traditional and sustainable farming practices while enrichening rural agriculture communities is so critical. The hard work and dedication of young farmers across the US is why it is important to us to be on this journey as a partner of Niman Ranch.

Over the years we’ve had the opportunity to talk to and work directly with many of Niman’s hog farmers and the message of working as a Niman farmer is always the same. By partnering with Niman, farmers are able to continue their farming business, grow the farm in a way they never would have expected, and many are able to work alongside their children with the hopes of passing the farm down to them. Being able to pass a farm down to children is one of the most rewarding aspects many of Niman’s farmers have spoken with us about over the years, which unfortunately is becoming a rarity in the industry.

This year The Niman Ranch Next Generation Foundation awarded scholarships to 48 aspiring farmers from seven states totaling more than $169,000. Congratulations to the 2020 Next Generation Scholarship recipients. On behalf of the entire team at ButcherBox, thank you for what you are doing and will continue to do in the industry and for your communities.