Got Beef? Whip up Runza!


Running through wide, open spaces.  Building forts.  Playing in the hay.  Bottle feeding calves.  There’s so much to see and do when you’re a farm kid, and that’s just the way the Siecke family likes it.

“Our children enjoy many freedoms because we live in the country,” says Shane Siecke of Madison, Nebraska.  He and his wife, Amanda, are the proud parents of three:  Aaron, 13; Jacie, 7; and Tate, 2.  “There is plenty to do.  Each child has a calf, and our older two kids have been raising their own bottle calves.  They learn to take responsibility as they care for their animals.”

pic1Farming is a family tradition.  The Siecke farm has been in the family for nearly 90 years.  Shane farms with his father, Doug.  Together they raise corn and soybeans, plus Shane has a 60-head cow/calf operation.

Because family is so important to them, the Sieckes say they enjoy working with family-owned Latham Hi-Tech Seeds.  Shane has been a Latham® dealer for 15 years.  He’s especially excited about these new corn technologies that Latham Hi-Tech Seeds will offer for 2014 planting:

  • Agrisure Artesian™ – Developed by Syngenta, Artesian products exhibit season-long drought protection to increase yield in moisture-stressed fields.  For 2014, Latham will offer LH 6412 GTA in the Nebraska market.
  • Genuity® DroughtGard™ – This is the seed industry’s first biotech trait offering drought tolerance for fields where lack of rainfall would normally limit yields to 70 – 130 bushels per acre.  LH 6444 VT2Pro DG is the first Latham product with this added protection.
  • Agrisure E-Z Refuge™ – More than 2/3 of the Latham Hi-Tech Hybrids planted in 2013 carried the refuge-in-the-bag (RIB Complete) option.  The performance, ease-of-handling and reduced risk for farmers speaks for itself.  In 2014, Latham will offer Agrisure products with the E-Z Refuge brand and the Duracade trait package.  Specific corn product numbers are still being considered since approval was just granted last week.

Exciting, new soybean technologies will also be part of the 2014 Latham Hi-Tech Soybean lineup.  Earlier this week it was announced the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved Balance GT soybeans from Bayer Cropscience and MS Technologies.  These soybeans will carry tolerance to glyphosate herbicides, as well as Balance Bean, an HPPD-based herbicide similar to Balance used on corn acres.  Two other exciting soybean technologies in the pipeline include Dicamba-tolerant soybeans (Roundup Ready Xtend) and the 2,4-D tolerance (Enlist).

“One of the advantages of working with an independent, family-owned seed company is that Latham offers one of the industry’s broadest and deepest lineups,” says Shane.  “Latham does the legwork of testing products by region, which helps assure farmers like me that we’re getting the best products for our growing conditions.”

In his free time, Shane enjoys tractor pulls and hunting.  Amanda is a registered nurse at Faith Regional in Norfolk, working in Cardiology.  She enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with family and friends.  Aaron is playing Jr. High football.  He also will play basketball this winter and will run track in the spring.  Jacie is in her second year of dance lessons and plans to play soccer this fall.

As a working mom with active children, Amanda enjoys no-hassle entertaining.  That’s why when friends or family call, she’s likely to whip up a batch of Runza casserole.  Runza, a stuffed beef sandwich that originated in Russia and became popular in Germany, is as popular in Nebraska as hot dish is in North Dakota.  Today Amanda is sharing her time-tested recipe with us on TheFieldPosition.

Runza Casserole



  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 3-4 cups chopped cabbage
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • onion powder or chopped onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can of refrigerated pizza dough
  • white American cheese
  • sliced mushrooms (optional)



  1. Brown ground beef with onion or onion powder and salt & pepper to taste; add cabbage.
  2. Stir until cabbage is slightly cooked.
  3. Next, add cream of mushroom and place mixture in 9x13 baking dish.
  4. Layer white American cheese and top with bread dough.
  5. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until bread is lightly browned. Very easy!