Lucky Badger Farms Catnip is grown in the gently rolling hills of southern Iowa. Each crop is planted, nurtured and harvested by human hands because as great as cats are they still lack opposable thumbs. Our catnip is also hand-packaged with care after drying in the fresh country air. It’s a lot of work, but cats in the know say they’re worth it. And, so is your cat!
Our farm, owned and operated by Eric Woolson with his son, Brooks, is situated on 27 acres just north of the small town of Lineville, on the Iowa-Missouri border. Our corporate office is about 75 miles up the road in West Des Moines.
So how did we get our name? While looking at the property in February 2003, Eric heard an animal rustling in the tall brush. He said to real estate agent Jeff Hamilton, “I think there’s a badger up there on the ridge.” Jeff offered to get his rifle and dispatch with the critter, but Eric declined. “He was there first. Let’s let him stay.” Jeff replied, “That’s one lucky badger.”
Truth be told, there aren’t a lot of badgers in Iowa. Especially southern Iowa. Eric and Jeff both knew that, but the name stuck in Eric’s head and he knew he had to buy the property. The purchase was completed by mid-2003 but the land was under contract with the federal government’s Conservation Reserve Program until 2008. That meant no one could grow crops on it. It also meant that the land had had a good, long rest. (In fact, each CRP cycle runs 10 years and this land had been in the program for a full 20 years.)
In the meantime, the Woolsons adopted Simon, a brown tabby they found at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa and immediately befriended. Though he serves in two roles with the company, the shy Simon much prefers the position of Senior Vice President of Quality Control over his duties as Official Spokescat.
After several seasons of fits and starts, the first few catnip plants climbed out of the black dirt in 2011. Lucky Badger Farms “Just Buds” Premium Catnip made its retail debut on October 9, 2012 at the Smitten Kitten in Des Moines and quickly made its way into two more central Iowa stores, Bone-A-Patreat in Des Moines and the Heart of Iowa Market Place in West Des Moines that year.
As we’ve become comfortable with our production schedule, we’re working to connect with more retailers. (Let us know if you’d like to see our products in your favorite pet store and we’ll get in touch right away.) And, we welcome your comments about how to improve our product line.
Thank you for your interest in Lucky Badger Farms and for visiting our site!