99 Counties taps regenerative agriculture trend for meat marketplace

99 Counties regenerative agriculture

99 Counties regenerative agriculture

Christian Ebersol was working for a health insurance company when he became interested in carbon capture storage and plant-based food.

After joining the entrepreneur-in-residence program at OMERS Ventures to figure out where his next move might be in those spaces, he started reading Marl Bittman’s book, “Animal, Vegetable, Junk: A History of Food, from Sustainable to Suicidal,” and that’s what introduced him to regenerative agriculture, which is a way of having plants and animals co-exist on the same farm in a way that doesn’t deplete the soil, water, and air conditions.

In recent years, this method of farming has been spotlighted as a major investment area, with some reports saying $320 billion was pumped into this space as of 2019, with major brands like Whole Foods saying regenerative agriculture would be the No. 1 food trend in 2020.

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Regenerative farming was something Iowan farmer Nick Wallace was doing when Ebersol met him. Along with Mike Adkins, they started 99 Counties to disrupt the $100 billion U.S. meat market with a marketplace connecting local, regenerative farms in the 99 counties of Iowa to consumers purchasing boxes of beef, pork, and poultry.

99 Counties coordinates all of the processing, transportation, and marketing so that farmers can focus on raising livestock and consumers can order meat from local farms within a day’s drive. 99 Counties also certifies the regenerative practices of the farms and ensures they get paid.

“Today, for most food, people don’t know where it came from. Our technology is all about traceability — when we deliver food to your family, you know what farm it comes from, you can scan a barcode and watch a video on it, you can see where it traveled to be processed and the farm’s humane animal treatment.”

Christian Ebersol

Currently, the company doesn’t have plans to service locations outside of Chicago and Iowa because the goal is to reduce the miles food travels before it gets to the customer. It is, however, working on farm onboarding so there is more diversity in options.


99 Counties regenerative agriculture

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