Meet Country Meats, a family-run business with a fascinating story


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You can feel good about conducting a fundraiser with Country Meats. It’s a family-run business, in place since 1978, that offers high-protein, trans-fat-free smoked snacks your Scouts will have no trouble selling.

The process is simple. In fact, I can explain a Country Meats fundraiser in a single sentence: Scouts sell smoked sticks — available in 16 delicious flavors — for $1 each, and your unit keeps $0.45 per stick.

It’ll take a few more sentences to share the story of Country Meats, but it’s one worth reading.

Country-Meats---Geatches-2In 1978, the Geatches family started what would become Country Meats on the family’s 15-acre farm in Ocala, a city in central Florida. They converted the barn into a custom processing facility.

By the late ’80s, they had built their own smokehouses and perfected the art of sugar-curing smoked ham and bacon for a quickly growing number of local customers.

Then they were approached by a nearby chapter of the Future Farmers of America, now the National FFA Organization. They asked if Country Meats would make some smoked snack sticks they could sell to raise money.

Things skyrocketed from there.

They added flavors and expanded to more FFA chapters in Florida. Then FFA chapters in Georgia came calling. Soon they were handing out samples at conventions across the country.

Country-Meats---GeatchesStill family-owned

Today, Country Meats is still family-owned — brothers Paul, Arron and Jeremy Geatches run the finely tuned day-to-day operations themselves.

And these days Country Meats fundraisers aren’t limited to FFA chapters. Thousands of groups — Scouting and non-Scouting — partner with Country Meats to raise money for the projects that help create the awesome memories of childhood.

Success has propelled Country Meats off the farm and into a state-of-the-art snack factory in Ocala. They craft 45,000 snack sticks every weekday and send them out via UPS daily. The factory employs 27 people, and Scout units are invited to take a walk-through tour any time they’re in central Florida.

In early 2013, Country Meats fundraisers had a small presence in the Scouting community. The 80 Scout units that had tried a Country Meats fundraiser saw success, but 80 units isn’t much in a national organization like the BSA.

So Country Meats started to spread the word. They brought 700 pounds of their tasty, high-protein, low-calorie snack sticks to the 2013 jamboree, and Scouts ate them up.

It seems to have worked. More and more units have tried a Country Meats fundraiser today, finding the $1 snack sticks a snap to sell. Each time one sells, a Scout unit gets a little closer to its goal of changing lives.

For a company that’s 37 years old, Country Meats seems like it’s just getting started.

Start your Country Meats fundraiser by clicking here.

About Bryan Wendell 3281 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.