Our Health Community: 99 Counties

Abbie SawyerOur Health Community, Recipes, Your Best Life

We are beyond excited to feature 99 Counties on the Our Health Community blog series! They’re working hard to bring local, pasture-raised meat to all of Iowa’s 99 counties. They’re also passionate about regenerative agriculture and supporting small farms throughout our state. Check it out!

Tell us a bit about 99 Counties. Why did you start this business? How has it evolved? What is it today?

For 20 years, I built a direct-to-consumer regenerative meat business in Iowa and Chicago.  4 years ago, I had a vision on a drive home from Minneapolis to create something bigger that had a chance to change agriculture.  That vision brought together the communities of soil, farmer, artisan processor, and customer.  We transitioned from Wallace Farms to 99 Counties and we are taking the first steps to bring back real health to the state of Iowa. 

What makes your approach different?

This is a true organic grassroots movement.  It doesn’t wait for or rely on the government or corporations to feed us anymore.

How does your business help people?

We are bringing to light that health starts with the soil.  We are going to grow food from that soil and feed people.  The saying that you are what you eat has never been more important and clear.

What’s one thing people should know about your business if they’ve never tried it before?

We have some of the best tasting and healthiest meats you can buy…and you will know where it came from and how well it was fed and raised.

What gets you up in the morning?

The idea that we can change agriculture in Iowa.  Someday,  within my lifetime, if I work hard enough and smart enough we can build a beautiful food system that serves all who live here.

What do you love about the greater Des Moines community?

It has the size to offer that city culture you can’t find in small towns or the countryside but it’s not so big that you feel the stress of a city like Chicago.  Best of both worlds!

What’s next?

Connecting all the pieces…from soil to farmer to food maker to customer.

Anything else?

People don’t realize the power they have when they build community and make decisions as a collective.  1% of Iowa making a choice to support 99 Counties farmers and processors with a $100 per month order would create a $36,000,000  dollar business overnight.  If you get to a tipping point and have 10% it’s $360,000,000. This is just Iowa with a small population. Add Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Omaha, St. Louis and you can see how Iowa can feed them all.  This is very exciting!

Where can people learn more about 99 Counties?

Website: www.99counties.com




Make sure to grab your tickets for their next farm-to-table community event! The dinner will feature a variety of pasture-raised chicken, pork, and grass-fed beef, as well as old-fashioned french fries, and a sweet sourdough dessert. You won’t want to miss this night of community, collaboration, and a delicious meal!

Click here for tickets and more information.

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