Our annual Niman Ranch Farmer Appreciation Dinner was held on September 13, 2014 at the Embassy Suites in downtown Des Moines. It was a spectacular celebration. Every year it seems to take on a personality of its own. This truly was the year of the Niman Ranch Hog Farmer. Enthusiasm for the dinner led to a record breaking number of RSVPs. After all these years, it amazes me to see how much this event has developed, not just in size, but in helping people understand how important it is to recognize our farmers for their good stewardship of the land and humane treatment of their livestock.
The outpouring of support from the food community was enormous, starting the moment we asked our selected featured chefs if they would be willing to come to Iowa and cook for our farmers. They agreed without hesitation, and many of them even paid for their sous chefs to come along. Chef Jason Cline of St. Petersburg, FL, went even further and held a fund-raiser for the Next Generation Scholarship at his restaurant, The Birchwood.
Featured Chefs :