Niman Ranch

Fearless & Frank

Niman Ranch

Niman Ranch is a network of traditional family farms and ranches, spread across the United States. At last count there were more than seven hundred member farms and ranches, and the number is still growing. They produce a complete line of beef, pork, lamb, and other products, and all of their animals are raised humanely, either outdoors or in deeply bedded pens.

Paul Willis and Niman Ranch

Paul Willis manages the Niman Ranch pork network of more than six hundred and fifty independently owned small farms and ranches. Paul Willis raises pigs the way his father taught him, which was taught to him by his father and taught to Willis’ grandfather by Willis’ great-grandfather. The philosophy is simple, the pigs be pigs. At Niman Ranch farms, hogs live on open pastures, sleep on bedded pens and are never given antibiotics.

For more than twenty years Paul Willis has been asked about his process of raising pigs because of the great results he reaps. When Niman Ranch began to expand into pork, it was Paul Willis’ ranch that quickly became the standard for the company’s line of pork providers. Thus all of Niman Ranch farms allow their livestock to be raised outdoors or in deeply bedded pens On top of their grazing freedom, the pigs are never fed any type of animal by-products or synthetic growth promoters.

Niman Ranch and its partner Paul Willis believe that practicing sustainable farming and treating animals humanely results in meat that is better tasting that when raised industrially. They believe that their hogs are healthier and less stressed when they are allowed to graze on their pasture whenever they want. When an animal is raised in fearful conditions, the fear breaks down their muscles are their meat become tough and tasteless meat. Niman Ranch wants to provide the best of life for the pigs in order to provide the best of meat for their customers.

Niman Ranch: Strict Protocols

Niman Ranch is a San Francisco-based meat supplier that has devoted their practices to helping ensure that their cattle, pigs, lamb and poultry are raised in humane conditions that are also adherent to strict environmental regulations. Their commitment to an all-natural product with no antibiotics or hormones includes the implementation of vegetarian feeds and a suitable living environment where the animals can engage in their natural behavior. As described on their website.

“Niman Ranch has worked to develop the gold standard for humane animal care and environmental agriculture practices. We work closely with Dr. Temple Grandin to guarantee all our protocols meet the strictest standards within the industry. Our protocols ensure that whether our livestock are raised by farmers and ranchers in the Pacific Northwest, or the Midwest, their raising practices consistently deliver the highest quality. “

They also have procedures for ensuring that all their guidelines are followed; and they are carried out as so:

“We take several steps to ensure full compliance with our animal handling protocols.

  • First, before any farm or ranch is accepted into our program, we visit it to make sure it meets our standards.
  • Secondly, we have field agents located throughout the country that regularly visit and inspect the farms and ranches within our network.


In addition, all our farmers and ranchers regularly sign affidavits, agreeing to follow all of our protocols.”

Niman Ranch’s commitment to humane and environmentally-conscious farming practices have earned them the loyalty of restaurant chains, food manufacturers and more that are equally as concerned with the environment as they are.

Niman Ranch - Sustainable Supply Chain

At Niman Ranch, sustainability does not end with what the ecological experts tell the industry what the best sustainability practices are. Sustainability begins in the hearts and minds of the family farmers and ranchers. Those who embrace the land and all it provides will be sustainable. Sustainability is less a practice than an attitude. It begins with a profound respect for the nature that surrounds and provides ranchers and farmers with their livelihood. When farmers and ranchers see that they are but a small piece in an all-encompassing, vast whole, they begin to see their place within that interconnected system.


Sustainable farmers see the long-term benefits of sustainable practices and an overall appreciation of the land and the ecosystem it supports, to which they are interlopers. The benefits of truly sustainable farming and ranching reach from the farmers to the farmer’s families, to their communities, to the land itself, and the water and air they rely on, to the animals they raise on that land. The more farmers and ranchers see the interconnectedness of their farming and ranching practices, the better their operations are for everyone.


Niman Ranch knows that sustainability does not begin and end with the farmer. There needs to be adherence to sustainable practices that must carry through the entire supply chain to ensure that all of the Ranch’s partners have economic opportunity in the future. Sustainability isn’t only about protecting particular ecosystems and the environment as a whole; it is about creating economic opportunity and prosperity for years and decades in the future.

PaulWillis and Niman Ranch

Paul Willis manages the Niman Ranch pork network of more than six hundred and fifty independently owned small farms and ranches. Paul Willis raises pigs the way his father taught him, which was taught to him by his father and taught to Willis’ grandfather by Willis’ great-grandfather. The philosophy is simple, the pigs be pigs. At Niman Ranch farms, hogs live on open pastures, sleep on bedded pens and are never given antibiotics.


For more than twenty years Paul Willis has been asked about his process of raising pigs because of the great results he reaps. When Niman Ranch began to expand into pork, it was Paul Willis’ ranch that quickly became the standard for the company’s line of pork providers. Thus all of Niman Ranch farms allow their livestock to be raised outdoors or in deeply bedded pens On top of their grazing freedom, the pigs are never fed any type of animal by-products or synthetic growth promoters.


Niman Ranch and its partner Paul Willis believe that practicing sustainable farming and treating animals humanely results in meat that is better tasting that when raised industrially. They believe that their hogs are healthier and less stressed when they are allowed to graze on their pasture whenever they want. When an animal is raised in fearful conditions, the fear breaks down their muscles are their meat become tough and tasteless meat. Niman Ranch wants to provide the best of life for the pigs in order to provide the best of meat for their customers.