As America sits down around their kitchen tables to find the common denominator between health care, diet, and budget, the Jepsens and Koethers, organic producers and distributors of NE Iowa are doing same. But there’s is a different perspective, struggling to find a way to market what just might be the solution.
I sat down for dinner with Ryan and Kristine Jepsen, their mathematically-minded intern, Dirk Marple, and cattle rancher and daughter, Greg and Kayla Koether. The discussion that ensued between the lot, specifically between the producer and the distributor of a small, truly organic business, reflects their triumphs and challenges, as well as the real cost of cheap food. Theirs is an uphill quest – outmaneuvering the big corporations that can afford to sell for less. The answer – “ten thousand organic farming families” – and the pendulum might just swing.