"We are feeding and raising our animals well so our neighbors can be fed well."
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Errol’s Graze Master Bull
By Del Ficke
This is a picture of the Graze Master bull I sent to Texas in 2012, he is almost seven years old and has just been on grass.  This is the last bull my father Kenneth and I sold together.

ROSANKY, Texas – This is a note from Errol Glidewell.  Thank you so much for your business Errol.  We’re proud to serve you.

“Our 12-month-old Graze Master Bull came off the trailer after a 900-mile journey and settled right in.  He has been a tremendous bull. He's never missed a cow and his calves come quick and easy.  He maintains excellent body condition year-round on only grass and quality hay.  We are now back five years later for another one!”

Errol, Mindy, and Wyatt Glidewell
Backwoods Farm
Rosanky, Texas

Please join us October 8

Pictured is my father Kenneth in the late 1930s.

Join us October 8 at our Open House – Bulls, Opportunities and Appreciation – at Ficke Cattle Company/Green Acres Cover Crops Dryland Research Farm from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event is all about neighbors and family coming together to appreciate one another and our precious resources – family, soil, seeds, water, livestock - and their preservation for generations to come.

“Life in us is like the water in a river.” Thoreau

When:  Saturday, October 8 
Time:  9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Open House lunch will be served at noon if you are interested or come and go as you please. 
Where:  Ficke Cattle Company – Graze Master Genetics™ and Green Acres Cover Crops Dryland Research Farm; 873 182nd Road; Pleasant Dale, Nebraska 68423
Directions to Ficke Cattle Company from Interstate 80:
Get off at Exit 388 (Crete)
Go south to the roundabout
Go west two miles on Highway 6 to 182nd Road
Go ¼ mile south.  The house and farm are on the right hand side of the road. 

Call Del Ficke for more questions at (402) 499-0329

Taking Back My Life – With a little help from Graze Master Beef®
By Dan Kurfman
OMAHA, Neb. – Throughout this journey we call life, we experience periods of change that create opportunity for renewal.  Peaks and valleys in our work and finances, periods of turbulence and peace in our families, the sudden “in your face” moments of illness and injury – each causes us to reflect and examine our horizons and in times of grace, to recast our future.
What can this have to do with something as seemingly mundane as beef?  Or in this case, a side of Graze Master Beef.  What gifts do you receive when the freezer is full of beef, you know that it is good and is packed in a way so you can see what you have?
The gift of time.
I don’t actually have any more time than before; but, I do have a greater choice in how I spend my time and how I experience time passing.  I exchange the time previously spent driving, checking prices, inspecting meat cuts and evaluating compromises with time spent with family imagining and planning what we will do with what we have.

Now the question, “What would you like for dinner tonight?” opens the door to an adventure.
I have personally seen the land where Del grazes the beef that goes on our table in the evening and I experience a connection that is far different than the “commoditized” experience of retail America.
While this is not the first time my wife and I have purchased a side of beef, it is the first time we have been truly delighted with the results and that is leading to a new sense of adventure.  We have a generous supply of “soup bones” and “stew beef” we can see and review.  This has led to joyful and playful conversations on such things as:
Does a beautiful cross-section of shank bone with a wide surround of meat go in the soup (my wife’s perspective) or on the grill (my perspective)?  Who would guess after almost 30 years of marriage that we could get into such a spirited conversation on beef marrow?

How shall we best use the stew beef we have?  We tend to automatically associate stew meat with chili, stew and stroganoff.  With a generous supply on hand, we are quite consciously planning adventures around the Mediterranean and Asia.
In our house we say grace.  I was raised with “spontaneous” forms and my wife was raised with “set” forms and, as in all things, we have arrived at a shared place.  On those days when we work together to prepare a meal, especially a simple one of Graze Master Beef and vegetables from our garden, we find the words come slower, and the pauses last longer, as we say, “Bless us, Oh Lord, and these thy gifts which we are about to receive from thy bounty, through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.”
Kurfman Family Graze Master Meatballs
Thaw one pound of Graze Master Beef.
Prepare potatoes by:
  • Quartering fingerling potatoes
  • Add olive oil in an appropriate roasting pan.  We typically use a foil roaster as it can be washed and reused many times.  You want just a bit more than is needed to generously coat the bottom.
  • Add the potatoes, shaking to ensure they are well-coated with oil.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • The potatoes will roast on the grill at roughly 425 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes until cooked-through and nicely caramelized. 
Prepare meatballs by:
Crushing together in a bowl (increase accordingly for fresh herbs):
  • 1 tsp. of dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp. of dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. of dried lemon zest
  • Add 1 tbsp. red wine to extract flavor and let stand till well moistened.
  • I like to then add 1 tsp. or so of good olive oil, as I think it helps transfer the flavor.
  • Crumble the beef and distribute the seasoning blend over the top.
  • Add freshly ground course black pepper and salt to your preference.
  • Gently mix until well distributed.
  • Form balls of the seasoned beef (I use an ice cream scoop and then roll by hand) working just enough that they hold together.  I like the results when I make one dozen per pound.
Grill to suit.  At a measured 425 degrees, I go about 15 minutes on my grill so I add to the grill when the potatoes are about half done.  Meatballs will have attractive sear marks on the outside and still be juicy inside.
Note:  For a delightful contrast, serve with tomatoes for tartness, cucumbers for a cool crisp crunch (English or Persian work particularly well) and a helping of Labneh (Lebanese cream cheese) topped with olive oil and mint, or flat parsley.


Sorghum Strong
By Del Ficke

LUBBOCK, Texas - One of the most refreshing stops of my first of six sessions with the National Leadership Sorghum Class III program put on by the United Sorghum Checkoff Program was the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) ARS Sorghum Research Facility in Lubbock, Texas - the most significant sorghum research lab in the USDA system.

I was surprised to learn how much of the research is still geared towards the public and the individual farmer.  There were great staff people from all across the world who understood the vast potential of sorghum in mitigating hunger and environmental issues we will all be facing in the years ahead.  The hands-on research occurring there is a result of sorghum checkoff dollars well-spent.  Key efforts include:  screening for traits for drought tolerance, cold tolerance and unique or high-value traits that can impact sorghum's profitability. 

Another highlight of the first session was Richardson Seed located at Vega, Texas.  Richardson Seed is a family-owned and operated business that supplies much of the foundation genetics of the sorghum industry.  Their research, in my opinion, was more in-line with farmers' needs from a practical standpoint.  Just recently, they have also started to graze cattle on their forage sorghum to see the differences in how the plants tiller-out after grazing and also the time of regrowth.  More tillering and faster regrowth leads to maximizing feed potential.  At Ficke Cattle Company, that is definitely something we are interested in.

I am thoroughly enjoying this program, especially the people and the potential to solve seemingly complex problems in agriculture on the local level.  I have renewed hope that with more information and working together with our neighbors, we can improve the rural landscape dramatically, all while building community and offering even healthier food choices for the consumer.  Sorghum has a huge role to play in the future and I am proud to be a small part of the sorghum story. 

Learn more at

All photos were taken by the Sorghum Checkoff. 


Thank you Aksarben Foundation!
Green Acres Cover Crops enjoyed the opportunity to display our story at the recent Aksarben Livestock and Rodeo Show at the Century Link event center in Omaha, Neb.  A big thank you to the Aksarben Foundation,, for their invitation to be present at the event. 
A big thank you also to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  The Soil Health and Rainfall Simulation presentation (pictured above) was put on by Aaron Hird – NRCS State Soil Health Specialist and Dan Gillespie – NRCS Soil Conservationist Technician.  The simulation had a very clear message for farmers and ranchers:  the difference between healthy soils and poor soils is life itself.
We couldn’t agree more. 
Let's foster an agricultural system that fosters life.


Thank you for reading this edition of The Liberator.  Nate Belcher (pictured above), myself (Del Ficke) and the entire team look forward to seeing everyone at Ficke Cattle Company - Graze Master Genetics and Green Acres Cover Crops Dryland Research Farm on October 8!

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

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