Saturday, October 31, 2020

Feeding America

Saturday Oct. 31 the Universal Church celebrated the beatification of Fr. Michael McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus. Becoming a Knight was one of first times I stepped out in my service to God's Church and my fellow man. My brother Knights continue to do so, and my little meat cutting venture is just one example.

Here's the finished product. A fully operational meat locker. 

As usual, I had the idea, but God did the providing. I received a call from Dave Hardegger one day asking if I knew of anyone who could use a 48' reefer trailer that some tenets were leaving on his property. I said, I sure do. I wonder if Dave had any idea what making that call would cost him.

First order of business was to knock a hole for a door in the side the ole girl. My buddy Ernie Blohm provided the encouragement and moral support.

We then divided the trailer in 3rds. The nose was to be a deep freeze. The tail end, a cooler. And the middle section was to be the cutting room. What made this trailer so unique is that it had two separate electric compressors, which allowed for temperature control at the front and back.

Needing a meat rail, Ernie was my blacksmith of choice. The only draw back was he didn't have any Coors Light.

Some questioned whether the roof would hold hanging beef. I said there was only one way to find out.

While we were in the mood of testing the roof load we hung a water drum above the sink which Dave plumbed in.

Phil Grabrick tackled all the wiring on the project. It's nice to know people in high places.

Outfitting the shop was the funnest. B&L Scales in Billings got us well equipped.

The grinder is a 220 2 horse beast. She'll drink anything you throw down her, including your hand if your not careful. Good sharp knives are essential. Don Kinstetter made the cutting board, which is out of maple. The two meat saws came from both my granddads - the one on the left from Ed Schmeltzer and the one on the right from Lloyd Lungren.

I was content with the grinder but if you're going to New York you can't stop in Chicago. Eventually it became apparent that we needed a vacuum sealer and a scale/label printer. The beef-cuts guide Grandma Ruth sent me. It was free, the others were not.

I had one frivolous purchase and that was this bad boy, a hamburger patty press. If you're gonna feed America, you got to make hamburgers.

This wash basin was a final touch in getting the trailer fully operational. Super handy and necessary to have water on hand.

Let's put her to the test. Three cattle have run through the mill to date. 2 have made it to the freezer, one is joyfully anticipating it.

My ole buddy Fr. Carl Beavers was gonna coach me on the cutting itself, but he got out while the getting was good. So I turned to my friends at the Co-op and Glory Music pointed me in the right direction.

I was super tickled to see the equipment work and get some meat freezing down.

Now were in the business. Here's two cows, 24 and 25. Beef. It's what's for dinner. 

Dave constantly remarks that I must have some connections Upstairs to pull all of this together. I would agree. One of them being my ole buddy Fr. Carl. He knew how to live his priesthood in a human way. I try to do the same. I appreciate your support Padre. Keep it coming. 

Lungren Brothers Cattle Company LLC is operating under the new amendment to the Food Freedom Act which passed July 1, 2020 here in Wyoming. It allows a producer to cut and distribute their own beef without being an inspected meat cutting facility. The basic framework of doing so is along the lines of a co-op. If you, for example, would like meat from us, you would buy a share into the herd while the critter you get any part of is still living. Then it is basically me cutting our meat. There is no obligation to purchase thereafter and no specified amount is necessary before hand. Once in, Brothers have access to the freezer from then on out. If you're interested in learning more about our cattle operation or getting on the beef train, get ahold of Fr. Bryce at

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