The Girl Who Didn’t Want to Move to Iowa

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Amanda Severson is the co-owner of Grand View Beef, a century family farm raising local, 100% grass fed beef in Clarion, Iowa.

It was 2016 and I had just landed my dream internship with the Seattle Seahawks. Born and raised in Washington, I had no plans of leaving, especially now that I had this job. That’s when I met one of the other interns…an Iowa farm boy.

Everything was going well until he said he was moving back to Iowa. I didn’t know where Iowa was on a map and assumed only one thing about the state – there was a lot of corn. He left for Iowa. I stayed in Seattle.

Six months and a million cascading events later (ask me for the full story some time), I parked a moving trailer outside of a downtown Des Moines, Iowa apartment.

“I was scared, but it didn’t take long to fall in love with this place.”

I was paying half the rent that I was in Seattle, yet living in the most gorgeous apartment less than a block away from countless restaurants and bars. I could actually afford to eat at them!

Amanda standing in front of boxes of product.
Amanda with boxes of Grand View Beef’s 100% grass fed beef shipping out across the Central USA

During my first trip to a grocery store, I thought the cashier mistook me for a person she knew. Turns out she was just being “Iowa nice.” A phrase that truly means something to the people that call this place home.

When I moved, the thing I was most afraid of was missing out on job opportunities and the chance for me to use my entrepreneurial spirit. I just assumed there wasn’t a whole lot of innovation happening in Iowa. Turns out it was exactly the opposite.

By 2017, that farm boy (now my husband) and I had launched our own business, Grand View Beef, and we were selling locally raised beef at a farmer’s market.

Amanda standing in a farm field with their two children.
Amanda with her husband, Knute, and two children

Fast forward to today, and we’ve been in business for six years. We now ship our 100% grass fed beef all over the Central U.S. We’ve purchased land, buildings and equipment, which was only possible because of the great resources in this state like our local banks, USDA programs, NRCS conservational incentives, university business experts, and more. Through every step, we’ve been encouraged and supported by a community of Iowans who want to see us succeed.

See, “Iowa nice” doesn’t just stop at the grocery store line. It’s a part of the business done here too. I know that kindness has made a really big difference in the journey and growth of Grand View Beef.

So, here’s the truth about Iowa – there’s a lot more to this place than just corn. We’ve grown our business, started a family, and put down roots that will last generations. This place has changed me and my business for the better. I hope you’ll consider letting it do the same for you.

Amanda standing behind a table in her booth at her first farmer's market.
Amanda at the first farmers’ market for Grand View Beef in 2017

This post was written as part of a paid partnership with the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

Published August 14, 2023

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