Niman Ranch’s Family Farms


After seen the documentary “Food Inc”, I learned that in order to meet the large demands of population in an affordable way, the food supply chains today tend to be industrialized and unsustainable. Crops and vegetables are grown with heavy fertilizers while the meats like, cattle, chicken and pigs, are grown in concentrated environment and fattened up as quick as possible. Also, according to the documentary, over-use of antibiotics, which 70% are not given to human but to animals, on farm animals leads to antibiotic-resistant bacteria in human beings. The efficient production also lowers the price. Overall, the most of the current food productions are unsustainable.

Niman Ranch is a company which has knitted together over 700 independent American farmers and ranchers. Those small family farms and ranchers provide the all-natural pork, beef, and lamb to retailers and restaurants. Meanwhile, local-farming communities are allowed to take care of their own lands and animals. As stated on the website of Niman Ranch, all the products they sell are humanly raised by family farmers. Animals have never been given any antibiotics or added hormones. Finally, animals are fed with the finest vegetarian feeds.


Niman Ranch is definitely an example of transition to organic food. However, how can we guarantee the food security of food from private family farms? Even though the large food industries, for examples, Tyson Food, Monsanto Company and Smithfield Food, have industrialized production for each chicken, cattle and pig, the food security are guaranteed. People have no worry about deadly bacteria like E.Coli because large companies can afford technologies to eliminate the potential risks. Also, the food productions out of industrialization are also influenced by the soil health, air conditions and water cycle. So, my paper will discuss about the ethical dilemma of family farms accompanied by Niman Ranch.


3 thoughts on “Niman Ranch’s Family Farms

  1. I like your thoughts as they represent the give and take of the benefits of the all natural ranches and the systematic processing lines of major meat producers. I’m interested to hear who you think will come out on top.

  2. I thought smaller farms have FEWER problems with bacteria or other health issues because the conditions animals are in are healthier. The feed lots system, or CAFOs, are the source of many of the health concerns.

    And, from an economics viewpoint, if the true costs of industrialized food are externalized to others, are the food they produce actually cheaper?


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