The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Inaugural Graze Master Cattle Sale and Open House Nov. 13


September 29, 2021 | View PDF

PLEASANT DALE, Neb. – Del Ficke of Ficke Cattle Company just northwest of Pleasant Dale, Neb., and Ken Stewart of XL Ranch out of Cowley, Wyo. are pleased to announce they will be holding the inaugural Graze Master cattle sale and open house on Saturday, Nov. 13.

The sale, the first of its kind ever, is also the launch of the Graze Master Group® – a new vision for the cattle the industry that has independence, common sense, genomic expertise, and profitability at its center.

“We have the same mindset,” Ficke said. “I trust Ken’s cattle judgment and his priorities are right.  Help the cattleman, cattlewoman, and their families be truly successful and profitable with cattle that work for their unique ranches and farms – that mindset is the foundation of the Graze Master Group.”

“Ken and I are getting back to our roots with our vision to build the Graze Master Group,” Ficke said adamantly.  “We’re bringing back the wisdom of the past, weaving in modern innovation, and going forward with a no-nonsense, commonsense approach.”

This pragmatic and profit-centered mindset is what led Stewart to Ficke and his approach to the newly coined phrase, “regenerative agriculture.” Stewart was initially connected with Del through his son, Jimmy, “My son, (who thinks a lot like me), actually first heard Del speak in Montana.  Jimmy called me after the presentation, telling me that he had finally heard someone who thinks along the same lines as us in terms of ranch management. This was refreshing because so many of the experts out there preach the exact opposite of what we know actually works, that is unless you want to prop up your genetics.”

“Jimmy went on to say that he thought Del could really help us with soil health and implementing some regenerative practices that wouldn’t break the bank, but throughout time would increase production and drastically add to our bottom line,” he explained. “After that phone call, I reached out to Del and figured out rather quickly that Jimmy was correct. So, for the past several years, our relationship has continued to flourish.”

XL Ranch and Ficke Cattle Company were built the American way – from the ground up.  The Stewarts’ diverse experience includes management of large, commercial herds in excess of 12,000 cows all the way to smaller seedstock operations of 500 and everything in-between across the continental U.S.A.

Since 1888, Ficke Cattle Company has been building their business with a pragmatic, blue-collar approach raising genetics that actually work.  Their Graze Master herd has been developed with a roll-up-your-sleeves approach to building the right cattle for the right environment. Ficke has consulted for farmers and ranchers all over the nation and world.

“I grew up on a dairy that was converted to beef when I was still quite young,” Stewart said.  “It didn’t take me long to know that raising beef cattle was what I wanted to do. The study of genetics and the ability to breed cattle that can perform within the parameters of the resources available on any given location at the optimum level, is what really turns my crank and fuels my passion to continue our life’s work.”

“It is very gratifying to share my experiences with the next generation or others who may want to look at trying to optimize their resources and raise the type of cattle that will work for them – cattle that don’t have to be pampered or propped up,” Stewart went on. “I guess in a nutshell that’s why we do what we do and why I don’t foresee myself ever getting too far removed from this great industry.”

“As the earth’s economies have grown increasingly localized and global in nature it is vital that we deeply study and understand our own environments as we continue to work to attempt to build the ‘perfect beast’ and better systems for producing food for and with our neighbors,” Ficke said in closing.  “Graze Master® is a brand representing cattle genetics and people.  It’s about discovering, uncovering, igniting, and uniting the best of breeds and the best of all of us to design healthier farms, ranches, communities, states, nations and ultimately – a healthier world.”


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