NORTHGLENN, COLO. – Niman Ranch is celebrating its network of independent family farmers with a series of virtual events from Aug. 5 to Sept. 11. The event series includes: 

  • A keynote panel featuring Michael Pollan, celebrated author of the Omnivore’s Dilemma, in conversation with Paul Willis, Niman Ranch’s founding hog farmer, Dawn Sherman, chief executive officer of Native American Natural Foods, and Danielle Nierenberg, co-founder and president of Food Tank. 

  • A virtual cooking class with seven Michelin Star-recognized chef Thomas Keller. 

  • Remarks from renowned animal-welfare expert Dr. Temple Grandin. 

  • A series of educational panels featuring some of the country’s leading thinkers on food and farming systems and what we can expect in our uncertain future. 

  • An awards ceremony for Niman Ranch farmers, including the announcement of scholarships granted to young farmers from Niman Ranch’s Next Generation Foundation. 

This is the 22nd annual hog farmer celebration for Niman, which started out a small dinner among farmers and friends and grown to a larger event that in normal times is held over several days in Des Moines, Iowa. 

“This annual celebration is truly a highlight for the Niman Ranch community and it’s important that we honor our farmers after a year like no other,” said Willis. “This spring, all of us were especially thankful for the Niman Ranch model as we watched the industrial agriculture system struggle due to COVID-19 disruptions. We remained resilient and provided important stability and reassurance for our farmers. During these tumultuous times, we are grateful for the community of farmers, customers, partners and friends who together encapsulate the values of Niman Ranch.” 

All programming is at no cost to participants except for the Culinary Experiences, which includes a meal box shipped direct to participants. All proceeds will go to support the Niman Ranch Next Generation Foundation, which provides scholarships to the children of Niman Ranch farmers and ranchers to help them return to the farm and continue traditional and sustainable farming practices. 

Click here to learn more about the virtual event series.