Niman Ranch 101

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We get lots of questions about Niman Ranch: Where is Niman Ranch? Does Niman Ranch use hormones or antibiotics? Is Niman Ranch local?

To answer these frequently asked questions and more, we put together this short video featuring one of our favorite independent family farmers, Ron Mardesen.

Video transcript:

Where is Niman Ranch?

We are a network of more than 750 independent U.S. farmers and ranchers in 20 states. We raise livestock humanely and sustainably to deliver the finest tasting meat to chefs, restaurants and specialty stores across the country.

Does Niman Ranch Use Hormones or Antibiotics?

No, never.

But What if an Animal gets Sick?

The animal will be treated by a veterinarian and given antibiotics if prescribed and sold into an alternate market. Animals treated with antibiotics are never sold to the Niman Ranch market.

What is Sustainable Farming? 

At Niman Ranch we define sustainability as balancing the needs of today without compromising the needs of tomorrow from an environmental, economic and people perspective. Niman Ranch farmers use farming practices such as rotational grazing, cover crops and composting. Environmental stewardship is one of the principles underlying everything we do to produce the finest tasting meat.

Are Niman Ranch Products Certified Organic? 

No, we do not require Niman Ranch farmers to be Certified Organic. Organic livestock feed is exponentially more expensive than conventional feed and would be prohibitive to both our farmers and customers. Additionally, Organic certification does not have many requirements to ensure animal welfare. Niman Ranch prioritizes the humane care of the animals, the economic health of the farmers and the preservation of the land.

How do we Know that the Farmers and Ranchers Treat Their Animals Humanely?

100% of Niman Ranch’s proteins – pork, beef, lamb and processed products – are Certified Humane®. Certified Humane is recognized as one of the most stringent animal welfare guidelines and is endorsed by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA). The Certified Humane stamp of approval means Niman Ranch livestock are able to root, roam, socialize, play and exhibit their natural behaviors comfortably.

Are Niman Ranch products GMO-free? 

No, while a number of Niman Ranch farmers grow and feed their livestock non-GMO feed, GMO grains comprise roughly 95% of the entire grain market. The remaining is mostly split up for direct human consumption and beauty products. This makes it difficult and expensive for livestock farmers to source.

Are Niman Ranch Products Gluten-Free? 

All Niman Ranch products are 100% gluten free except for our New Belgium Brewing Craft Beer BBQ Collection, which contain gluten from the beer.

Is Niman Ranch Local? 

Depending on where you live, yes! Niman Ranch independent family farms and ranches are located in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, West and Pacific Northwest. These regions are capable of producing abundant grasses and grain, which makes them ideal environments for raising animals. Keeping the livestock close to where the feed is produced also limits our carbon footprint, because it reduces the transportation of feed.

How do you Know That all Niman Ranch Farmers and Ranchers Adhere to the Protocols? 

We take our protocols very seriously. All our farmers and ranchers routinely complete affidavits agreeing to follow the Niman Ranch protocols. We also personally inspect each farm before it is accepted into the Niman Ranch program to make sure it meets our standards. Once in the program, farms and ranches are visited and inspected regularly by our field agents. Farms are also audited by third-parties including Global Animal Partnership and customers including Chipotle.

Where can I find Niman Ranch products?

Niman Ranch can be found on the menus of many of the country’s most celebrated restaurants. Chefs looking for the finest tasting meats raised humanely and sustainably, proudly serve Niman Ranch. Niman Ranch is also served at quality-driven chains including Pret a Manger, Chipotle and Shake Shack, along with many others. For discerning home cooks, Niman Ranch is available at specialty grocery stores from coast to coast so you can make restaurant-quality meals for your family.

Whether they’re raising hogs, cattle or lamb, Niman Ranch independent family farmers and ranchers share a commitment to traditional, sustainable farming. All Niman Ranch livestock are Raised with Care® in the United States on pasture or in deeply bedded pens where they are able to socialize, play and exhibit their natural instincts. This shared commitment to sustainable and humane farming practices produces the finest tasting meat. To find out more, follow Niman Ranch on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at Niman Ranch.

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