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

Abigail H.

Agronomy and Environmental Science Student

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.”

Continue reading here… 

Elle G.

Environmental Science Student

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.”

Jaclynn K.

Agricultural Communications Student

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.”

Anthony S.

Communication Student

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.”