WESTMINSTER, COLO. – Niman Ranch has recognized the Nuessmeier Family Farm of LeSueur, Minn., as the first recipients of the company’s Sustainable Hog Farmer of the Year Award. The inaugural recipients of the Niman Ranch Sustainable Hog Farmer of the Year honor are celebrated for decades of efforts to preserve farmland and conserve natural resources.  

Nineteen-year Niman Ranch partners, brothers Tim and Tom Nuessmeier, are fifth generation farmers. The Nuessmeiers raise pigs outdoors, grow organic crops using sustainable practices including crop rotation and buffer strips and have dedicated pollinator habitat among many other environmentally conscious practices on their diversified farm. 

“We have always believed that wild nature—birds, insects, mammals—should have a place to coexist on a working farm,” Tim Nuessmeier said.  

The Nuessmeiers credit their Niman Ranch pigs as the key linchpins in their diversified sustainable farm. The pigs provide rich compost from their manure and bedding that the Nuessmeiers then apply to their land to maintain nutrients and build soil health. With certified organic crops, they rely on this naturally produced compost rather than synthetic fertilizers. 

Sustainability is foundational to Niman Ranch with all farmers in the network sharing the commitment to protect and preserve the land for future generations. Niman Ranch farmers raise livestock on pasture or in deeply bedded pens with plenty of space to root, roam, play and exhibit all their natural instincts.  

“I applaud the Nuessmeier family for this well-deserved award,” said Chris Oliviero, Niman Ranch general manager. “They have spent decades continually adopting new practices to conserve natural resources and support biodiversity. The rewards of these investments are clear with the robust wildlife, insects, pollinators and healthy soil they boast on their farm today. I am proud to call Tim and Tom nearly 20-year partners with Niman Ranch and believe they are a model for diversified, sustainable agriculture.”