Joan Ruskamp

About Joan

Dodge, Nebraska

I grew up a city girl dreaming of the farm life. My childhood love for animals drew me into the field of veterinary medicine. When I met my husband in 1980, our common values of faith and family along with a combined desire to build a farm of our own led to our marriage in late 1981. We bought the 40 acres Steve’s grandfather received as a wedding gift in 1914 and raised our five children in the same house my father-in-law grew up in. Since that original purchase, we have added more farm ground and expanded existing cattle pens to sustain our family.

We bring cattle from states like Kentucky with the terrain and climate best suited for growing grass to our region where our climate is best suited for growing row crops like corn and soybeans.  Because cattle are ruminant animals, they are able to utilize grass and grain in a way that enhances the environment while producing tasty and tender beef.

There are a variety of ways we seek to improve the environment in the ways we manage our soil and water. We hold all the water flowing into and on our farm in a holding pond. The holding pond is six acres (one acre = one football field) protecting rivers and streams from nutrient runoff while at the same time allowing us to use the water and nutrients to irrigate our row crops of corn and soybeans. 

My husband and I are both very active in the day-to-day work on our feedlot and farm.  One of my jobs is doing health checks of our cattle every morning. We depend on hired labor to help us as none of our five children have pursued a career here on our farm.  Instead, they each graduated from college and followed dreams of their own. Four of the five are married, blessing us with nine grandchildren so far.

Service is an important part of lives at the local, state and national levels.  We serve in a variety of roles as volunteer EMTs, church organizations, community organizations, commodity organizations, 4-H and CommonGround.

News from Joan

Marching Towards Planting Season

Marching Towards Planting Season

March is one of my favorite months.  First, March reminds us spring is just around the corner. Second, I get to celebrate another birthday!  With a birthday at the end of the month, I have enjoyed many celebrations with spring-like weather, but I have had...

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Irish Beef Stew

Irish Beef Stew

CommonGround volunteer Joan Ruskamp shares her recipe for Irish Stew with Pure Nebraska viewers. Irish Beef Stew 2 pounds beef chuck roast (cut into 1-inch cubes)2 teaspoons vegetable oil1 cup onion (diced)8 ounces button mushrooms (sliced)2 teaspoons minced...

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New Year: Protein Front and Center

New Year: Protein Front and Center

Happy New Year!  A new year can often bring hope for changes in our health, finances and relationships.  I don’t know how many times in my life I’ve made  New Year’s resolutions to exercise more and eat healthier foods.  When I think about eating...

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Sheet Pan Nachos

Sheet Pan Nachos

CommonGround volunteer Joan Ruskamp and her niece Maria share a recipe for Sheet Pan Nachos with Pure Nebraska viewers. Recipe is from www.thekitchn.com. Sheet Pan Nachos For the ground beef cheese sauce:1 tablespoon olive oil1 pound lean ground beef1/2 teaspoon...

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Hot Beef Sundae

Hot Beef Sundae

Ruskamp family recipe Roast beef and mashed potatoes are a generational favorite extending from my childhood to my grandchildren. This recipe originated at the Iowa State Fair. It can be used with leftovers, or you can buy prepared roast beef with gravy and use...

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The Positive Impacts of Agriculture

The Positive Impacts of Agriculture

My family: My husband, Steve, and I recently celebrated 40 years of marriage. I am also celebrating over 40 years of life as a woman in agriculture – a farmer. During my childhood years, I yearned to live on a farm with no real understanding of what it meant to be...

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Bowl Baked Oatmeal

Bowl Baked Oatmeal

CommonGround volunteer Joan Ruskamp shares her recipe for Bowl Baked Oatmeal with Pure Nebraska viewers. Bowl Baked Oatmeal 1 and 3/4 cups (420ml milk (dairy or nondairy))2 large eggs*1/2 cup 120ml pure maple syrup*1/4 cup 60g unsalted butter, melted and slightly...

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Flaky Beef-Stuffed Pinwheels

Flaky Beef-Stuffed Pinwheels

CommonGround volunteer Joan Ruskamp shared her recipe for Flaky Beef-Stuffed Pinwheels during a "Mom Meals: Holiday Edition" cooking class. Flaky Beef-Stuffed Pinwheels Notes: If you use two full pastry sheets you will want to use more roast beef. Hormel has two roast...

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Apple Clafoutis

Apple Clafoutis

CommonGround volunteer Joan Ruskamp shares a recipe for Apple Clafoutis with Pure Nebraska viewers.  This recipe was found on All-Recipes.com.   Apple Clafoutis 4 large eggs¾ cup brown sugar⅓ cup all-purpose flour¼ teaspoon salt1 ½ cups milk1 tablespoon...

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I Challenge Burger King – Let’s get the Facts

I Challenge Burger King – Let’s get the Facts

UPDATE - as of August 27, 2020 It took only a few weeks for Burger King to respond to numerous farmers, ranchers and consumers about the misleading video. Instead of crediting U.S. beef producers for their steadily decreasing carbon footprint, Burger King set up...

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Joan Ruskamp’s Beefshi Deli Roll

Joan Ruskamp’s Beefshi Deli Roll

CommonGround volunteer Joan Ruskamp shares her recipe for a Beefshi Deli Roll using roast beef, ranch dressing, and carrots with Pure Nebraska viewers.   Joan Ruskamp’s Beefshi Deli Roll Hand vinegar1 cup water¼ cup rice vinegarDeli Roll2 sheets nori3 cups...

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Safety is More Than the Five-Second Rule

Safety is More Than the Five-Second Rule

If your family is anything like mine, you’ve likely heard of the infamous “five-second rule.” With this rule, if food is ever dropped, there exists roughly five seconds before it can be picked up and consumed or else the food becomes “dirty” and should be discarded....

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