What We’re About


My beef is of deep, complex flavor and firm, dry aged texture  with significant fat marbling- harvested from mature cattle of 24-30 months age. People often mistake the distinction of grass fed and have been misguided into thinking it should be extremely lean. Not so. Excessive leanness, with a dry mouthfeel, is an eating quality defect. Lean  grass fed beef with little marbling is indicative either of low quality forages or- more likely- beef harvested in adolescent stage of growth before marbling fat begins to accrue. Adolescent beef will be the equivalent of “lite” beer; insipid and undistinguished in flavor, with no “body”.  Older beef  with a hard life of grazing low quality forages may develop a gamey, “wild” flavor and significant toughness. Not as easily , cheaply or quickly gained as grain-fed; grass fed beef marbling fat should  be considered the sought-after “holy grail” of good stuff: high in omega 3 fatty acids. True grass fed beef is seldom excessively fat.


The real deal in true grass fed and finished beef, this outfit began way back in ’98 with the goal of farm direct-to- consumer sales of natural (no antibiotic/growth hormone) high quality beef produced in a sustainable manner.  Pioneering stuff; making use of  then- new ( to the U.S. anyhow) techniques and tools of Management Intensive Grazing, improved forage varieties,  low impedance electric fence chargers, portable fencing, and distributed pasture drinking water.

It’s mostly worked out ; the potential was real. Still at it with no shortage of problems to solve and innovations to explore. We remain a small farm by choice striving for quality and constant improvement rather than ” production numbers” so typical of the “big ag” mentality. My cattle live as their ancestors have for hundreds of years under human care: outdoors on grass. Not in confinement CAFO’s stuffing themselves on pelletized “organic” feed as now OK with relaxed “organic” standards for animal welfare.

Side benefits of a land ethical approach (CRP reforestation, no-till planting, cover crop rotations, and livestock exclusion from waterways) include glimpses of fox , clamor of nesting waterfowl, and hooting of owls. Industrious pocket gophers, perseverant beavers, and ubiquitous rocks foster a sense of tolerance and patience.

The Foodie Farmer blog post explores the unique perspective of a rural beef and produce CSA (haycreekcsa.net) farmer with an urban background and lots of food experience. Expect straight-up home-tested recipe reviews ,  non-mainstream nutritional gleanings, and unique-to-grower insights.

There is a “Contact Me” e-mail form to weed out bots. If you’re not one you can also contact me at 218-837-6109 (most readily  7 – 9 am , around noon, and 6-8 pm).  E-mail is haycreek@wcta.net  Mailing and physical (google maps)address: Mark Fickes, 44617 County Highway 75, Sebeka, MN, 56477.

Monthly home  delivered packages of grass fed beef to  St Cloud, Minneapolis, St Paul and Moorhead; Minnesota as well as Fargo, North Dakota . Good availability fall thru early summer. Check  recent posts for most current status.

Quarters (nominally 100 pounds packaged net weight) beef price at $7.29 per pound and boxes (nominally 33 pounds packaged net weight) at $7.49 per pound. Deposits of $100 and $40 respectively by PayPal or mailed check required for home delivery. Reasonable direct-to -home delivery charge of $10 per address plus $0.12 per pound means you get  a 100 pound quarter delivered for $22.



Red Roan Shorthorn Bull and “Dollie” ; Early Springtime