Where Are They Now: Ruthie Carpenter

2016 & 2017 Next Generation Scholarship Recipient
Ruthie Carpenter standing in front of plant stalks

Ruthie Carpenter has always known she would return to the farm someday. She can’t imagine a better place to raise a family and teach her children the value of hard work. Ruthie is putting her farm-taught work ethic to good use as she pursues her doctorate degree in physical therapy with plans to return to the farm after graduation to support her rural community.

Q: How did the Niman Ranch Next Generation Scholarship help you achieve your goals?

A: By earning a Next Generation Scholarship, I am extremely proud to say I completed my undergraduate degree with absolutely zero debt! I was able to attend a private school without any financial help from my family, thanks to scholarships like the very generous Next Generation Scholarship that Niman Ranch provides.

Q: What would you say to Next Generation Foundation donors to share the impact of their generosity?

A: Wow!! That is all that truly comes to mind. I cannot thank you enough for making this dream (of graduating debt free) become a reality. Your generous donations to the Next Generation Foundation have made a huge impact on not only my college years, but the lives of so many other recipients as well! I think I can speak for each and every recipient when I say that a simple thank you really does not mean enough.

As a farm kid, I grew up well aware of the ever-changing market prices. Farmers do not have a set income every year which makes planning for college difficult at times. 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.

Q: How do you feel your upbringing on a farm influenced your life?

A: I have always known I will be returning to the farm someday! I plan to have my future children have the same experiences I did growing up on the farm and helping my dad.

By growing up on a farm, I learned early on how to be responsible. When I was younger, I was always given the task of helping my dad feed our pigs. This was one of my very first responsibilities on the farm. This simple chore taught me how to be responsible (feeding the pigs is pretty important!!), which has translated into many other aspects of my life today. I have used this knowledge to be responsible with my time and money as I’ve grown up.

Q: How would you best describe your experience growing up on a farm?

A: I was extremely blessed to grow up on a farm. I am the fourth generation of my family to work on the farm, something I am so proud to say. I really can’t imagine growing up any other way. I plan to raise my future children to be the fifth generation to grow up on our family farm.

Q: What is one thing you wish people knew about farming?

A: I wish people knew how much we care for our animals. I absolutely love my pigs. In fact, one specific sow comes to mind, number 17. She is so sweet and just wants to be petted like a little puppy. I love to come home to see her. She even likes to get hugs from people! I wish people knew the love I have for my livestock. When I was little, I cried every time we sold pigs because it hurt to see them leave after growing attached to them for months. While I no longer cry, seeing your pigs leave the farm never gets any easier.