With student loan debt affecting two-thirds of college graduates today, paying for college is a substantial barrier for young farmers and ranchers who face continually rising land costs. The number of beginning farmers in America fell by 20 percent between 2007 and 2012 alone.

“Niman Ranch recognizes that combating the burden of student loan debt is crucial to helping new farmers stay on the land,” said Founding Hog Farmer, Paul Willis. Over the past 11 years we have dispersed almost $500,000 to the children of our farmers and ranchers who are committed to furthering their education to continue rural enhancement.

Meet Some Of Our Past Recipients

Aaron W.

Agricultural Business Major

It means a lot that businesses supporting the quality products that we raise are willing to assist young individuals to help us get a better education and opportunities for our lives. And it means a lot that Niman Ranch, who has given us a chance and livelihood as young farmers, puts programs, such as the Niman Ranch Next Generation Foundation, in place to help us with our education.”

Abigail H.

Agronomy and Environmental Science Majors

The Next Generation Scholarship allows students like me to pursue an education to further improve the agriculture industry. We are able to go to college and learn more about the industry and bring new ideas back to our farms, improving our operations and bettering the land and animals. This wouldn’t be possible without the support from donors to the Foundation.

My goal is to pair my farm background with my knowledge that I have gained from school to educate farmers in ways to better their soil.”

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Anthony S.

Communications Major

The Next Generation Scholarship not only gave me the opportunity to further my education in agriculture but also to network with Niman Ranch employees and associates who have helped me through my time in college. Receiving the scholarship also led to an internship with Niman Ranch on one of their sow farms in Illinois where I learned numerous tips I’ve brought back to my home farm and implemented.”

“Farming techniques and technology are constantly changing and being improved upon. College is a great opportunity where we can learn these skills so we can bring them back to the farm and apply them. Next Generation Scholarships aren’t just helping one individual but the entire Niman Ranch community and farming as a whole.”

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Brenden K.

Animal Science Major

It is my responsibility to not only be a voice for agriculture, but for traditional sustainable agriculture.”

Dane K.

Agricultural Science Major

The Next Generation Scholarships helped me out during a difficult time and I will return the favor by raising more hogs for Niman Ranch.”

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Elle G.

Environmental Science & Business Administration Majors

The Niman Ranch Next Generation Scholarship and Phyllis Willis Founders Scholarship greatly improved my education opportunities by relieving a huge financial burden off my shoulders. The scholarship allowed me to focus more on my education, conduct undergraduate research on pollinators locally in Iowa, and intern with the Niman Ranch communication team. Thank you to all of the Next Generation Scholarship Fund supporters for supporting young agriculturists like me and the future of agriculture.”

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Hannah T.

Agricultural Studies Major

As young farmers, we know we have an important role in the agriculture industry in the many years to come … Coming from a farm, my parents are self-employed. If the farm has a bad year financially, we do too as a family … Receiving the Niman Ranch Next Generation Scholarship is something I was always very appreciative of.”

Jaclynn K.

Agricultural Communications Major

I have the goal of graduating college debt free. Thanks to the Niman Ranch Next Generation Scholarship Fund, as of now, I’m planning to graduate next May debt free.”

“By making the choice to invest in the next generation of agriculture, you are showing your dedication to and passion for our industry. Without scholarship supporters like you, I would not be where I am in my college education and will be forever grateful.”

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Jon H.

Studying Automotive Technology

My goal is to come back to the farm after college. Niman Ranch is a big part of making this dream a reality.”

Josie H.

Agribusiness Major

Thank you! Your donations are more meaningful than can be expressed. Your donations have allowed students, like me, to continue and try to better themselves through not only education, but experience. This education is indescribable and priceless. On behalf of myself and others, I would like to express my gratitude.”

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Kodi B.

Animal Science Major

I want to help young people succeed and give my time and energy back to the programs that shaped me into the person I am today.”

Mike M.

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

You will not find another group of students that understand the value of a dollar to the extent that farm kids do. I firmly believe that scholarships are an investment more than a donation. And an investment in a student from a farming background always pays dividends. The feelings of gratitude and purpose I have felt from receiving the Niman Ranch Next Generation Scholarship are universal among other students who have received them.”

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Noah T.

Agronomy Major

The scholarship helped me focus on my education that has in turn helped me become a more efficient, sustainable farmer. Without the Niman Ranch Next Generation Scholarship, I would still be focusing on paying for that education instead of expanding my sow herd and building improvements on the farm.”

Ruthie C.

Studying Pediatric Physical Therapy

By receiving scholarship assistance, I have been granted the opportunity to obtain not only a bachelor’s degree, but doctorate degree as well. Because of these generous scholarships, I will be able to return to my rural hometown and make a difference in children’s lives.”

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Thomas P.

Agricultural Economics Major

Providing scholarships to students who are interested in helping the world become a more sustainable place, no matter what field of study, is a good way to invest in the future of our planet.”

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