"We are feeding and raising our animals well so our neighbors can be fed well."
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Culinary Underground featuring Graze Master Beef

Craft food artists serving up our premier beef at Lincoln Haymarket restaurant



Pictured from left is Del Ficke – owner of Ficke Cattle Company – Graze Master Genetics®; Chef Nick Fraley and Mark Creglow – owner of the Culinary Underground; gathered around a juicy, delicious craft food Graze Master Burger creation.


LINCOLN, Neb. – Ficke Cattle Company – Graze Master Genetics® is proud to announce the Culinary Underground, a Lincoln Haymarket premier craft food and drink restaurant, is now serving Graze Master burgers.  The Culinary Underground,, is located at 803 Q Street #150, directly across the street from an easily accessible parking garage. 


“The Culinary Underground’s focus on the art of craft food matched our focus on the art of raising cattle,” said Del Ficke.  “They get it.  It’s simple.  We want to provide a premier burger and they want to serve a premier burger.  At Ficke Cattle Company – Graze Master Genetics, we are dedicated to raising quality beef defined by tradition since 1888.  As my Great Grandfather H.F. Ficke said, ‘We are feeding and raising our animals well so our neighbors can be fed well.’”


In 2016, the Culinary Underground was awarded the Diners’ Choice Award by Open Table.  Recently, the team at Ficke Cattle Company enthusiastically opened their doors to this award-winning restaurant team so they could experience first-hand how Graze Master Beef is raised in a holistic environment. 


Mark Creglow, the owner of Culinary Underground, said, “We are excited about Graze Master Beef because it is a unique, premium product with a great taste that is getting rave reviews.  Our ultimate goal at the Culinary Underground is a farm to table restaurant and serving Graze Master Beef is a huge step in that direction.”


The Culinary Underground is providing Ficke Cattle Company with coupons for a buy-one, get-one-FREE burger at the Culinary Underground for those who want to tour the farm.  To set up a tour, call Del Ficke at (402) 499-0329, visit and like us on Facebook at:


Culinary Underground Hours:

Monday:  CLOSED

Tuesday:  4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Wednesday:  4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Thursday:  4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Friday:  11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Saturday:  11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Sunday:  10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Learn more at: or call (402) 817-6510.  From small, intimate gatherings to large, corporate outings, they have multiple spaces available complete with full catering and bar options.  The Culinary Underground is now booking private events in their new Private Events Room located adjacent to Culinary Underground.

The Culinary Underground team visiting Ficke Cattle Company.

Water is King
By Nate Belcher

This is me and my little field scout, Rye, checking out a new variety of daikon radish we have been testing.  This radish comes out of a test plot that is in continuous, no-till vegetable production and as you can see it has a very large, straight taproot that has the ability to penetrate deep into the soil profile and break up compaction to help increase water infiltration. 

When it comes to growing food and fiber, it is all too easy for us to take for granted the importance that water has on our farms when the water is available today.  We count on those rains to come at just the right time or on access to irrigation water to continually be there to nourish our crops.  While it is easy to take water for granted and focus on things such as the right genetics, fertilizer inputs and the latest in farming implements, I believe that we all need a reminder that water is king when it comes to growing food. 

I had just that kind of reminder on a recent trip to California where many of the nation’s fruits, nuts and vegetables are produced.  Driving past farm after farm of lush fruit trees, beautiful vineyards and fields of vegetables, I quickly realized that everything surrounding those green fields was brown.  Take away access to irrigation water and none of those fields would be productive and able to provide for the rest of the country.   That is exactly the situation that California is beginning to find itself in right now. 
Our vital dependence on water is precisely why we have to focus on farming practices that are productive and have the capability to regenerate our soils so they are able to cycle nutrients, fight against soil pathogens and weed pressure, and most importantly have the capacity to infiltrate large amounts of water and store it for later use by our crops.  We continually stress the importance of healthy soils for the simple fact that biologically active soils with living roots in the ground have the ability to infiltrate, hold and utilize far greater amounts of moisture compared to soils that are compacted and void of life. 

The path to healthy soil does not have to be difficult or take long periods of time.  We can facilitate productive soils simply by looking to nature to help guide us towards systems that promote life and productivity.  Practices such as diversified cropping rotations, ultra-high-density-grazing, reduced tillage, utilizing cover crops and reducing excess inputs, all create soils that are resilient, productive and profitable.  The path to productive agriculture can be extremely good for our farms, our communities and our pocket books.  Keeping water preservation central to our vision for the future on our farms and ranches is a win-win for all of us. 

What farmers and ranchers should be thinking about now.

There is still some time to get winter-hardy cover crops such as cereal rye in the ground as winter closes in.  Harvest will be coming to an end before we know it, which means it is never too early to begin thinking about next year’s game plan.  It is also time to consider early next spring plantings such as frost-seeding red clover into cereal grains; planting cool season forages for livestock; and adding a quick-growing, cool season cover crop mix into your plan before crops such as soybeans and sorghum. 

Putting together and executing a complete fertility and cropping plan can be difficult when beginning to integrate cover crops into your operation.  We are here to help you every step of the way. 
Call us today to see how you can begin to maximize your farm and ranch’s potential both financially and ecologically for water retention/preservation, healthy soils and ultimately a healthier world. 

Contact Information:
Nate Belcher | Cell – (402) 580-0015 |
Del Ficke | Cell – (402) 499-0329 |

We are excited that Matt and Emely Hendl have joined Green Acres Cover Crops as Field Reps.  Below is a link to an editorial about the couple featured in the York News-Times.  Pictured is retired U.S. Navy serviceman Matt Hendl and daughter Annika working with bees when the family lived in Connecticut and developed a deep passion for growing food and teaching others. 

Story link:

Sorghum Butternut Squash Risotto
A great dish to accompany Graze Master Beef this Thanksgiving

Recipe and photo by Nebraska’s own, Barbara Kliment, Executive Director – Nebraska Grain Sorghum. Board
4 cups chicken broth
1 lg. vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon of vanilla paste
3 cups peeled, cubed – one inch butternut squash
2 tablespoons of butter, plus one tablespoon of a ½ cup chopped onion
1 and ½ cups of pearled sorghum
½ cup of dry white wine
½ cup of grated Parmesan
½ teaspoon of salt
Pepper, to taste

In a medium saucepan, warm the broth over medium-high heat.  Cut vanilla bean in half, lengthwise, scrape out seeds and add them as well as the vanilla bean to the broth (or use vanilla paste).  Bring to simmer; reduce heat to low.  Add squash and cook until tender (about five minutes).  Use a slotted spoon to remove the squash to a side dish.  Turn heat on broth to very low and cover to keep warm. 
Meanwhile, in a large, heavy saucepan, melt two teaspoons of the butter over medium heat.  Add onion; saute until tender (about three minutes).  Add the sorghum; stir to coat with butter.  Add wine and simmer until almost evaporated (about three minutes).  Add one-and-a-half cup of broth at a time, stirring constantly, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more.  Cook until sorghum is tender but still firm to the bite and creamy (about 20 minutes total). 

Discard the vanilla bean.  Turn off the heat; gently stir in squash, cheese, remaining butter, salt and pepper.  Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with chives or additional Parmesan.  Serve immediately.  (Serves six)

For more information, please contact: 
Barbara Kliment, Executive Director
Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board
301 Centennial Mall South
Lincoln, NE 68509-4982


Sorghum is an ancient grain.  It is growing in popularity and has many new and versatile uses.  It is healthy, packed with nutrients and delicious.  

Macronutrients:  excellent source of energy – 75 percent complex carbohydrate, 3.3 percent fat, 11-12 percent protein and naturally gluten free.

Sorghum is an excellent source of potassium, iron, zinc, manganese and copper, and is low in sodium.

Vitamins:  excellent source of thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenate and vitamin B-6.

Depending on the variety, contains health-promoting anti-oxidants, which are believed to help lower the risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and some neurological diseases.

Sorghum is grown from traditional hybrid seeds and does not contain biotechnology traits, making it nontransgenic or non-GMO. 

"It takes half a millennia to build two centimeters of living soil and only seconds to destroy it." 
Anne Glover

Thank you for reading this issue of The Liberator.  See you in November. 

In the meantime, we would love to hear from you or stop by and see us.  Call (402) 499-0329, anytime.   

Copyright © 2016 Ficke Cattle Company - Graze Master Genetics, All rights reserved.

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