Joe Sweeney

Joe Sweeney
Agricultural Business
Year Graduated: 

Radcliffe, IA

Joe Sweeney has been named 2017 STATEment Makers by the ISU Alumni Association. He is passionate about entrepreneurship, and even more about his latest entrepreneurial endeavor: farm raising high-quality seafood in the middle of Iowa. The successful Buckeye Fish Company he helped create was acquired in 2016. So in October, Joe and his business partners–Paul Skartvedt ’97 and Nathan Katzer ’07–launched “Eagle’s Catch,” a new fish farm in Ellsworth, Iowa, that is on track to become one of the largest re-circulating aquaculture systems in the world. Joe’s also currently hard at work launching another business venture in the biotech industry as he strives toward his ultimate goal of revitalizing Iowa’s rural economy–to “bring skilled, high-paying jobs to rural Iowa, where our beautiful landscape, small town life, and rural morals make a great and meaningful life.”

Joe on…

…his favorite college memory: “the Iowa State football upset of No. 2 Oklahoma State [in 2011]”

…his role models: “Norman Borlaug and John D. Rockefeller”

…the everyday item he can’t live without: “black coffee”

…what it means to him to be recognized as a STATEment Maker: “The hard work and support of my parents, business partners, friends, and faculty of Iowa State is the reason I’ve been so lucky to have experienced some success. This award has recognized some amazing graduates doing incredible things in the past years, and it is a true honor to be among them.”


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