Isaac Madison Raikes and his parents started their journey west across the United States in the early 1800s and landed in the Nebraska Territory in 1854, the year it became an organized, incorporated territory of the United States. The family lore speculates that our ancestors were moonshiners on the run from the law. Either way, we put down roots and the Cornhusker State has been home ever since.
Raikes of Nebraska
In 1900 Justin’s great grandfather, Levi Carter Raikes moved to a 160-acre homestead north of Ashland, referred to as the “Home Place”, which still serves as the center of our farming operation today.
In 1932, the Californian petroleum plant where Justin’s grandfather, Ralph Raikes worked closed due to the Great Depression. Ralph decided to make his way back east for graduate school at MIT, first making a stop home to discover that Levi was on the verge of losing the farm. He decided to stay to save the farm and began the next phase of life as a farmer working closely with the University of Nebraska on agricultural research and becoming an early adopter of new technology.
Ralph’s son (and Justin’s father), Ron Raikes was a tenured professor of agricultural economics at Iowa State when he decided to return home to take over the farm in 1978 with his family. During his tenure he significantly grew the farm land and cattle operations and started up a soil conservation business. He tragically passed in a farming accident in 2009. Not only was Ron a great agribusiness leader, he also served as a senator in the Nebraska state legislature for nearly a decade.
In 2016 Ron’s son, Justin Raikes made the move with his wife from the Pacific Northwest back to the good state of Nebraska to officially oversee the farming operations. Cattle manager, Jarrod Knorr had been experimenting with our first wagyu crosses and found a combination that worked well. The team and family had been impressed by the need for farmers to connect more directly with customers, and the idea for a business was born.
In November 2017 we continued to grow the family operation with the conception of a new venture, our retail brand Raikes Beef Company. Doors opened to our boutique beef shop in May 2017.
RAIKES BEEF CO.
After nearly a century in the cattle business,
it was time for a new venture and an opportunity to build on something Justin’s father, Ron Raikes had started, breaking into the retail side of the beef industry with our brand, Raikes Beef Company.
The doors to our farm to table beef shop, located in historic downtown Ashland, opened in May 2017. We recognized the need to ship nationwide for everyone to have the opportunity to taste high quality Nebraska beef.
We are a well-rounded team operation that includes family members and non-family members, and everyone plays a vital role in the business. This allows us to bring Nebraska beef from our farm to your table.