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Ranch Foods Direct Customer Newsletter    

May 2012 

"You can find your way across this country using burger joints the way a navigator uses stars."  - Charles Kuralt  

May is national burger month!


Here's why two choosy local pubs serve Callicrate ground beef 

After being shuttered for four years, the old Navajo Hogan (once a legendary local biker bar) was reborn as Johnny's Navajo Hogan, and last year's family-friendly remake soon adopted another big change: serving Callicrate ground beef from Ranch Foods Direct.

"People are really enjoying the beef," says Cici Owens, the restaurant manager. "Our hamburger customers noticed the difference right off the bat."

May is considered national burger month. But this year's celebration of the classic All American sandwich comes on the heels of a spring media frenzy over cheap ammonia-treated pulverized meat slurry - commonly referred to as "pink slime" although its technical name is lean finely textured beef or LFTB - believed to be used in up to 70 percent of commodity ground beef. (Read more details about it HERE.) A push is on to have the ingredient labeled on grocery store packaging. Schools have also been given the choice to opt out when purchasing their hamburger through the federal school lunch program.

Callicrate ground beef is 100 percent free of the frozen ammoniated product, which is extracted from the last bit of the trimmed carcass using a high-heat industrial process.

Cici Owens says the public uproar over the process got insiders in the food business talking. "People just don't know what they are eating these days," she says.

When the story broke, she was glad she could guarantee her customers wholesome locally-ground beef in their blue-cheese bacon burgers and on their hamburger pizzas. "We are very happy with Callicrate Beef," she says.

Likewise, Liz Purcell, who co-owns Hanson's Grill & Tavern in Denver's Washington Park neighborhood with her sister Cat Cameron, isn't willing to feed her customers anything she wouldn't eat herself. When they bought the neighborhood grill, that meant carefully researching potential beef suppliers before settling on Ranch Foods Direct. They first connected with the company through the Ranch Foods Direct outlet at the Denver Urban Homesteading year-round farmers market at Third and Santa Fe.

"It's been fantastic," says Liz, who has worked in the restaurant business for two decades. "And it's personal. I don't want to eat something I know has not been cared for well. And why would I serve something like that to somebody else? This restaurant is an extension of my home."

The duo isn't swayed by fads or the vagaries of the Denver food scene, Liz adds, opting instead for classic American comfort foods that never go out of style. They use Callicrate ground beef in their meatloaf and meatballs in addition to offering a variety of burgers.

"We are what we are, and we're proud of what we are," she says.

The recent surge in upscale burger joints doesn't surprise her. "We've always had very strong burger sales," she says, noting their timeless appeal.
But while trends come and go, the beef in their burgers is something the two take very seriously. "There are ranchers in our family. That's why we made the decision we did about which beef to buy in the first place," Liz says.

Johnny's Navajo Hogan·  2817 N. Nevada ·  (719) 334-9593 ·  Open daily 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Hanson's Grill & Tavern ·  1301 S. Pearl St in Denver ·  (303) 477-0210 ·  Opens Mon-Sat at 11 a.m., Sunday at 10:30 a.m. for brunch.

SIGN UP ANYTIME... JOIN RANCH FOODS DIRECT'S UNIQUE PAY FORWARD CARD PROGRAM. Ranch Foods Direct makes it easy to support community organizations every time you shop or dine with "Pay Forward" cards that allow you to contribute part of what you spend toward local charities. Learn more by CLICKING HERE

For more details, visit Full Circle Cuisine online.  
To receive updates by email, please email or call him at (719) 482-8082. Keep up with Kevin's lunches, dinners and special events by following him on Facebook, CLICK HERE.

Mike Callicrate named to Humane Society's new agricultural advisory council in Colorado

Effort brings farmers, ranchers and animal welfare advocates together to work toward common goals

Rancher Mike Callicrate has been named an organizing member of the Humane Society's ag advisory council.
Rancher Mike Callicrate has been named an organizing member of the Humane Society's ag advisory council.
To advance more humane practices on farms and ranches and to promote food producers who share that goal, The Humane Society of the United States announced the formation of an advisory body, the Colorado Agriculture Council of The Humane Society of the United States, on April 26.

The council will work to pursue market opportunities for farmers and ranchers whose agricultural practices adhere to animal welfare standards, as well as facilitate a dialogue with individual farmers, ranchers and the organizations that represent them. The agriculture council will also act as a sounding board on agriculture policy for Holly Tarry, Colorado state director of The HSUS.

Tarry made the announcement at a meeting of the Colorado Legislative Animal Welfare Caucus chaired by Representative Beth McCann, D-HD8. She was joined by Tom Parks, DVM, a Colorado cattleman; and Joe Maxwell, director of rural affairs for The HSUS and a fourth-generation hog farmer.

"As a Colorado cattle rancher, I believe family farmers and ranchers have much common ground with The HSUS when it comes to the treatment of farm animals," said Dr. Parks, who will chair the new council. "It's a positive step to work together to address the future of animal agriculture and find solutions to animal welfare challenges."

"The Humane Society of the United States is honored to be working with this council to improve farm animal welfare and pursue market opportunity for more humane, sustainable Colorado producers," said Tarry. "We are pleased to have many family farmers as our allies, and to work with advisors who are directly involved in agriculture."

The organizing members of the agriculture council also include Mike Callicrate, livestock producer and owner of Ranch Foods Direct retail center in Colorado Springs, who attended the group's formal announcement.

"During the event in Denver, I pointed out that politics is about addition and not subtraction," Mike said. "I'm more than happy to add concerned consumers to the effort by family farmers and ranchers to restore a fair food system that serves everyone. Working together is the only way we can hope to solve the big problems we have in our modern food system, brought about by powerful agribusiness corporations that are now far too dominate over government agencies, farmers and consumers."

The HSUS has more than 182,000 supporters in Colorado. In 2008, Colorado became a national leader in farm animal welfare reform when the legislature passed a measure to phase out the use of intensive confinement in pork and veal production.

Legislators passed a bill that prohibits the use of gestation crates for breeding sows and veal crates for the male offspring of dairy cows. The measure requires that animals have enough room to stand up, lie down, turn around and extend their limbs. Additionally, the Colorado Egg Producers Association is supporting federal legislation in Congress, H.R. 3798, backed by The HSUS and the United Egg Producers, to improve the treatment of egg-laying hens and provide a stable and secure future for egg farmers.

Additional members of the council include Matt Kautz, owner of Cottonwood Creek Farms, a Colorado poultry and egg producer and Ranch Foods Direct supplier (look for his eggs at Ranch Foods Direct's outlet at Denver Urban Homesteading Farmers Market, Third and Santa Fe in Denver.) Remaining members include Carrie Balkcom, director of the American Grassfed Association in Denver and Brad Buchanan, a Colorado cattleman. For more information, visit


"What you support prospers,

what you feed grows."

-Mike Callicrate   


When eating out, use Ranch Foods Direct's interactive restaurant map (or the smart-phone QR code, below).


Restaurant Map Code 


Here's another place to get a great burger during May burger month... Stop by the Union Bistro in Castle Rock, featuring delicious Callicrate Beef burgers with your choice of toppings, served on a sunny patio, weather permitting. The Union Bistro is at 3 Wilcox downtown, phone 303-688-8159. Hours: Tue - Thu 11:30 am - 9 pm ·  Fri & Sat 11:30 am - 10 pm (Closed Sundays and Mondays) 
To visit a gallery of gorgeous burgers, posted on Facebook, CLICK HERE.
ABOVE, beautiful spring lettuce from Javernick Family Farm of Canon City... The same area farmers holding their Colorado Farm and Art Market kick-off event Sunday afternoon (May 6) from 2-5 pm at the Margarita at Pine Creek also deliver fresh produce weekly to Ranch Foods Direct. Supporting these farmers with your business keeps them in business, insuring a source of high quality locally grown items throughout the growing season. For more info on the REAL farmers market in Colorado Springs, visit

Keep up with RFD on Facebook.  

Follow owner Mike Callicrate on Twitter: @MikeCallicrate 


Ranch Foods Direct Natural Meat Market 

2901 N. El Paso, Colorado Springs 80907

Retail Hours: Mon-Fri 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

Saturday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

 (719) 473-2306 or 1-866-866-6328

Shop online:


Denver Urban Homesteading Farmers Market is the store's fun and convenient outlet in Denver! CLICK HERE for details.


For harvest table dinners (presented by Full Circle Cuisine) CLICK HERE.  


For Home Service option, CLICK HERE.