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Colorado Springs Business Journal: Rancher-Retailer Has a Beef With Big Food

Raising and selling top-quality meats puts bread on Mike Callicrate’s table. But activism feeds his soul.

The owner of Ranch Foods Direct has been a passionate advocate for family farmers and small businesses in the courts and on Capitol Hill for almost 20 years.

“I fight abusive power,” said Callicrate, who lobbies, speaks and writes about the effects of corporate agriculture and industrial meat packers on small businesses.

“We have a totally broken food system that’s in the hands of just a few companies that cooperate rather than compete,” he said. “People who are really more aware of what’s going on in our system seek out places like us.”
Callicrate sells meat from the cattle, pigs and chickens he raises in St. Francis, Kan. Ranch Foods Direct also stocks locally grown produce, dishes such as soups cooked in the on-site kitchen and prepared foods sourced from regional farmers and food artisans. It’s a bit like a year-round farmers market.

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