Benedictine monks to close down cattle business

NPR's All Things Considered presented an interesting interview with the monks about the closing of their cattle operation.

The Benedictine Monks of Assumption Abbey, Richardton, North Dakota, are reluctantly giving up a century-old tradition.

The monks started the monastery in 1899 and they have had a farm right from the beginning. It was a way of raising our own food. In the early days, everybody had beef cattle and dairy cattle, but now, in recent years, we are selling most of the cows. We still butcher our own, but we don't butcher very many, so it's the source of income for the abbey.

A source of income that's about to disappear as the monks prepare to sell their herd at auction, probably around Thanksgiving. Abbott Brian Wangler, who's in charge here, says it's strictly because there just aren't enough monk cowboys to manage the herd. Most monks here are older than 40 and fewer young men are entering religious orders these days.


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