Perdue Farms is supporting young farmers and the future of sustainable agriculture through a $50,000 Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation grant to the Niman Ranch Next Generation Foundation. The gift will be used to help award scholarships to the children of Niman Ranch farmers and ranchers so they can return to their family farms and help rural communities thrive for future generations.

“Hard-working family farmers are the backbone of agriculture in our country and we’re committed to supporting the next generation of farmers with funds to help offset the burden of obtaining a college education,” said Kim Nechay, executive director of the Perdue Foundation. “We’re honored to help grow the next generation of farmers through the Niman Ranch Next Generation Scholarship Fund with support from the Perdue Foundation to provide stability for the Niman Ranch Foundation long into the future.”

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The Next Generation Scholarship program was started in 2006 by Niman Ranch, the pioneering network of U.S. family farmers and ranchers committed to sustainability and animal welfare, with just one scholarship in honor of David Serfling, a Niman Ranch farmer who passed away suddenly that year. Over the past 11 years, the scholarship program has dispersed more than $500,000 to the children of Niman Ranch farmers who are committed to furthering their education to support rural communities and sustainable farming. In an effort to help more farm families, Niman Ranch established a 501 (c) 3 non-profit for the scholarship program, the Niman Ranch Next Generation Foundation, in 2017 to help rural economies thrive by supporting the next generation of farmers.

“Student loan debt is a significant challenge for the next generation of sustainable agriculture leaders. This generous gift will change the lives of many and have a ripple effect felt in communities across rural America,” said Chris Oliviero, General Manager of Niman Ranch. “We are grateful for the Perdue Foundation’s generous support of this important cause and appreciate their long-term commitment to the fund.”