Saunders county farm-to-plate business

Pure Nebraska
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 4:03 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 1, 2022 at 4:08 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ASHLAND, Neb. (KOLN) - If you travel to Ashland, you’ll have to pay a visit to Raikes Beef, where you’ll find beef products direct from the family farm.

“We’ve been on the same spot since about 1900,” Justin Raikes said. “I’m the 5th generation of the family to manage the farm. We produce American Wagyu cattle, which is a cross between a Japanese Wagyu cow and one of American Angus background. The Wagyu breed is known for quality, with great taste and texture. We wanted to bring this product to the area. We are really happy with the market options that are out there for producers. What we do that’s unique is, we do our cow-calf operation here locally in Saunders County, which is much less common than it used to be. We feed and finish our cattle all the way out, we use our row crop operation as well, to help feed the system. We graze cattle on winter stalks and cover crops, and it’s a fairly tight loop within Saunders County and within the state.”

The beef is the secret to the success of the Raikes Beef shop on main street in Ashland. “People come to us, they want to buy local, and people care where their food comes from,” Lindsey Raikes said. “We are happy to provide that offering here. You are going to find specialty cuts here, like your hanging tender, and petite tender. We have your classic ribeyes and filets, but we also have those butcher artisan cuts as well. And, our ground beef is phenomenal.”

“You are close to the source with this business,” Lindsey said. “There is no middle man. You are truly buying direct from the family farm. Like Justin said, the farm is literally just down the road. We bring the cattle to harvest, I oversee the processing with the partners we work with, and then it comes into the store. So, there is not this long logistical pipeline.”

Justin and Lindsey Raikes say they are very focused on the importance of nutrition and animal care when it comes to raising beef. “Nutrition is big,” Justin said. “We have a professional team supporting us. We have formulated rations that we are feeding, and it’s vegetarian. We know people care about what’s in their food, and the foundation to success is good nutrition.”

For more information, check out