"We are feeding and raising our animals well so our neighbors can be fed well."
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Welcome Prairie Creek Seed
Announcing another great seed partner to serve your farm and ranch needs.

Del Ficke and Karl Dallefeld, president of Prairie Creek Seed.
CASCADE, Iowa - Ficke Cattle Company – Graze Master Genetics® and Green Acres Cover Crops is excited to announce another high-quality seed partner into our product line up. 
It was a simple decision to shake hands with the Prairie Creek Seed team headquartered in Iowa.  Prairie Creek Seed is a family-run business that shares our values and vision about what it means to truly serve farms and rural communities.
“Prairie Creek Seed has a great line-up of conventional corn, forages and sorghum products as well as cover crops that complement the research and education we are already doing with Green Acres Cover Crops,” said Del Ficke. 
“The Prairie Creek Seed business has 30-plus years of experience in the seed industry and has passionately proven with a lot of hard work that they are laser-focused on doing the right thing for the soil, livestock, crops, farm families and the future.  Nate Belcher and I admire their ability to survive the changes in agriculture by unwaveringly focusing on serving their customers fairly, with customer needs first and foremost in mind,” Ficke added. 
“All of us at Prairie Creek Seed are thrilled to have Del and his team as a part of our team.  I am looking forward to the knowledge, ideas and excitement that Del brings to Prairie Creek Seed,” said Karl Dallefeld, president of Prairie Creek Seed.  “It is fun being able to work with a group of people who have the desire to make a positive change in agriculture.  With the combined expertise and the years of practical knowledge that both Prairie Creek Seed and Del’s team provides, we will have the ability to serve farmers and ranchers even better.  We definitely look forward great things and a long-term partnership.”

Learn more about Prairie Creek Seed at



Seed: The Untold Story
By Nate Belcher

My family, wife Rebecca, and son Rye.  The reason I am so passionate about agriculture.
As farmers, we know the seeds you sow in life and the soil have a direct impact on the harvest that you reap. 

We also know that while potential yield is of the upmost importance, to achieve those goals we need crop varieties that are resistant to pests and disease. We also need crop varieties that grow with differing levels of precipitation and soil types that can be grown over a wide climate range.  The way that we meet this is through genetic diversity of our crops.

This is absolutely critical to long term, regenerative food production. 

I recently had the privilege of viewing and serving on a panel discussion following the premier of “Seed:  The Untold Story,” a documentary focused on these important issues.  I recommend that anyone with an interest in food production (which is everyone that eats) take the time to watch this documentary.  This film production hit home with a poignant message for all agriculturists in our time from all backgrounds that not only is genetic diversity of our seed stock important – but also the diversity within our communities.

We don’t all have to do things the exact same way in order to have thriving, long-lasting communities and farms.  Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone.  You will often be surprised about not only your farm’s true potential but your potential too!

When it comes to the seed story you are sowing and reaping, dig deep into yourself and consider the best way that fosters life. 
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” 
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Find out more about SEED:  The Untold Story at:

Strip Grazing Corn

By Del Ficke


The Graze Master herd doesn’t get to embark upon an entire cornfield when the crop is cut.  Instead, we divide the cornfield into fourths implementing ultra-high-density-grazing.  This extends our grazing potential by two to three weeks.  This also benefits the soil because the manure and urine from the cattle is concentrated in one area, keeping the rest of the corn stocks clean until the cattle graze the next paddock. 

The cornfield in this picture is also special; because, if you recall from previous Liberator articles, this field started with cover crops in 2015 and on June 1 of 2016 was planted to corn with no inputs used except a burn-down on only, small specific areas that needed it. 


The rent for this field was already paid prior to planting corn all because of our herd grazing the land, adding valuable impact.  As a result, everything harvested was profit. 

Animals impact your farm in ways no machinery or synthetic chemical can.  They do all of this by grazing God’s earth, doing what God intended them to do, so we can be free to do more of what we want, like go bass fishing. 


Soil Master School
Fun, Learning and Net Profits

We would like to invite anyone interested to please check out the link below regarding our July 21-22, 2017 Ficke Cattle Company – Graze Master Genetics® and Green Acres Cover Crops Soil Master School©. 

This is a great opportunity for those interested in net gain for your land, livestock, family and pocketbook.  Sign up today as the class is filling up quickly!
The Best Apple Pie

From the Taste of Home Magazine:  September/October 2016 issue and successfully made by Alyssa Maraia at the Ficke farm for Thanksgiving! 
Pie always goes great with Graze Master Beef because Graze Master Beef goes well with everything. 
Prep time: Forty minutes plus cooling.
Bake: One hour plus cooling.
Makes 10 warm, sweet and delicious servings.
Crust Ingredients:
2 and a ½ cups of all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. of sugar
1 tsp. of salt
1 and ¼ cups cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/3 cup of ice water
Filling Ingredients:
¼ cup of unsalted butter
5 lbs. of medium Honeycrisp apples, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick
½ cup sugar
¼ cup of packed brown sugar
½ tsp. of salt
½ tsp. of ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. of ground allspice
¼ tsp. of grated lemon peel
½ cup of apple cider
1 tbsp. of lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
Course Sugar
Pulse flour, sugar and salt in a food processor until blended.  Add butter; pulse until butter is the size of peas.  While processing, add just enough ice water to form moist crumbs.  Divide dough in half.  Shape each half into a disk; wrap in plastic.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add apples and next six ingredients; stir to combine.  Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until apples have softened and released their juices (10-12 minutes). With a slotted spoon, transfer apple slices to a 15 by 10 baking pan; spread into a single layer.  Add cider to remaining liquid in Dutch over and bring to a boil; cook until juices reduce to ½ cup (10-12 min). Remove from heat; add lemon juice and vanilla.  Poor over apple slices; cool completely. (The filling can be made 24 hours in advance and refrigerated).
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.  Adjust oven rack to lowest position; place foil on rack to catch any spills. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of dough to 1/8 inch thick circle; transfer to a deep 9 inch pie plate.  Trim pastry to within ½ inch of the rim.  Add filling. Trim, seal and flute the edge.  Cut slits in top. 
Whisk together egg yolk and cream; brush top of pie.  Sprinkle with coarse sugar.  Chill 15 minutes.
Bake 20 minutes.  Reduce oven setting to 350 degrees.  Bake until crust is golden brown and filling bubbles (40-50 minutes).  Cool on wire rack.
*For a braided top crust, roll remaining dough to a 12 by 10 inch rectangle; cut into fifteen, ½ inch wide strips.  Working three pieces at a time, braid strips.  Arrange over filling; trim and flute edges.

Common Sense about Cover Crops with Jimmy . . .

We applaud the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Tennessee and Jimmy Standefer for telling it like it is.  Great job Jimmy!  You just have to do it, even if dad says no the first go-around.

Thank you for reading The Liberator.  See you next time . . .
Copyright © 2016 Ficke Cattle Company - Graze Master Genetics, All rights reserved.

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