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

Sunday, October 25, 2020

He's Worth Fighting For

 Imagine doing what you love for God.

Service Saturday

With winter setting in I've been looking for a warm place to hole up. So I called my trusty Knights of Columbus brothers and we insulated the rectory garage. Dave Hardegger took up the torch and when Dave is on something, dust flies.

He rounded up the best of the best: Paul Vetter, Jack Smart, and Joe Anderson

I told Dave that I wasn't in need of any new experiences but he put me on insulating the attic anyway

His main concern was that the men were well fed

Dang Dave, that cow heart was finger linking good!

The homegrown and homeground burgers were pretty tasty too

Another well job done. May your reward be great in Heaven

Speaking of jobs done, ol 24 is in the freezer. I've got 10 more cows waiting to join her. You interested in good grass fattened beef? If so, let me know at You don't have to sign up for a certain amount now. But you do have to sign into the herd before I butcher a cow that you get any part of.


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Monday, October 12, 2020

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Chief and I


    I've joked that Chief is part angel. That's kind of cute, but mostly true. See, he is a straight gift from God. Here's how it went down. In the summer of 2016 I found myself at St. Stephens Mission on the Wind River Indian Reservation trying to figure out my life. For the past eight years I had been a seminarian and deacon for the Diocese of Helena MT, but for a long time my heart had longed to come back home to Wyoming. I had knocked on those doors in pervious years but they weren't open at that time. But come the end of seminary, I was in no place to get ordained a priest so I hunkered down with my buddy Fr. Andrew Kinstetter at St. Stephens.
    My heart was divided. I longed to be home but felt a tremendous obligation to Montana. Bishop Paul Etienne, bishop of Cheyenne at the time, made it known to me that I was welcome here, but that wasn't enough. One day, when I first settled in to St. Stephens for a couple week retreat, I was out roping my shovel handle, drinking a Coors Light and listening to George Straight when the neighbor Ron Mamot flagged me down. He asked if I'd rope a colt of his so he could halter it. I did and then he showed me this wild bay he had captured.
    This horse, he explained, had just come running in out of nowhere. He was untouchable and was getting into fights with other studs. Ron had finally coaxed him into a round pen but didn't know what to do with him from there. There was no brand on him and no one was looking for a lost horse. On the Rez, stray horses were not uncommon. So Ron explained that he would like to get a halter on him, get him cut, and find him a home. After one look at him, I knew exactly where he belonged, with me.
    It's so cool how God gives us early desires and later fulfills them. During my final years of seminary I thought many times how good that would be to have a horse I could run around with as a priest. Little did I know that desire would soon be fulfilled. So I took this wild bay on and named him Chief. As I did, my heart came back to focus. God was indeed calling me home to this cowboy country and He proved it through Chief. The rest is history. Once I had him saddled, the two of us never looked back.

We were buddies from the beginning. After we roped him and got a halter on him, he was ours. We did cut him, but later discovered that he had bread one of the mares and fathered a little filly.

I had much help starting him as I had never broke a horse before. It was amazing, a few trips around a round pen by someone who knew what they were doing and I was on him bareback. This is the first time he was saddled. It'd make for a cool story if he bucked me around like Monte Welsh, but once he got his head in the game we were a team.

Once we saw his potential, Fr. Andrew and I had a plan: break him to pull a sleigh for St. Stephens feast day Dec. 26. Chief was always down with whatever. 

Providentially we had found a sleigh for sale in town and fixed it up.

The big day came and went without a hitch. From the get go Chief has always liked kids. After the conclusion of this mission we actually discovered Chief's linage. Ron was flipping through his annual of horses one night and stumbled upon a picture of a new born foal and a lightbulb went on. He remembered that as a yearling this colt had gotten on the other side of the fence and he couldn't get him back. The foal was a bay, and upon closer look, he had the same facial markings as Chief. It was him! He was home after three years of running free. The funny thing is, all of Ron's horses are Appaloosas, full of color. Chief is a rarity, a solid bay Appy. We know his parents and the day he was born. Now no more wondering whose he was, he was ours from the beginning. 

While we had him broke to drive, Dad and I hauled him down to Cheyenne to pull our buggy in the Frontier Day's parade. The buggy has linage back to the 4th Governor of Wyoming, Richards. So we got to ride right behind Governor Mead.

The fun was over, it was time to put him to work. My late grandpa Lloyd, in the middle, gave me his old stock racks to haul him around in. It didn't take Chief long to take to it. The saddle in my hand was my great-grandpa Adam's. It was actually through him that Chief got his name. Grandpa Adam had a horse named Chief and every time he hollered "Come Chief" all the other horses would come running in with him. Even after the first Chief was gone, we all still called the horses in by yelling "Come Chief." Chief was just a fitting handle in many ways. 

After eventually being ordained a priest for the Diocese of Cheyenne, we went on many excursions together and gave thanks to God. Life always looks better on horse back.

He evened turned a little cowy.

Chief also taught me how to ride broncs. 

Even today he still loves kids and they love him.

There's an old saying that "the best thing for the inside of a man is the outside of a horse." I can testify to the truth of this. Chief has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. I hold on to him loosely though. He's a gift. He freely came, and someday he'll freely go. Until then, I thank God for every day we're together and I use him to his full potential. He's eight now, and I'm confident that we have many more miles in the saddle together. There's no use sitting around though, we're on to the next one!

Go to Mass

 58th anniversary of VII and feast day of Good St. John XXIII

No hat, click here: 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Shipping Day

The purpose of a cow/calf operation is to get the calves on the truck. One usually holds his breath until the trucks leave the yard. Well this happy day came and went for Jason and Bonnie Kuhbacher on Monday. They gathered the neighbors and called the priest just to make sure they had all their bases covered.

Round-up began at first light 

A good 400 pairs we pulled together

You only get one shot at the corrals so you better make it count

All hands on deck 

Everything is done on horse back 'round here, even the cutting

The buyer making his count

Jason bidding his farewells 

Three loaded truck then hit the road back to Sioux Falls.

It was the driest year in memory for most of the folks in these parts. I told Jason it's probably better in the long run to start out with a tough year rather than an easy year. Now he knows that with the help of God's grace he can handle anything that comes his way. Well done good and faithful servant.

Lord Teach us to Pray - Rule 5 & 6

 Never make a change in desolation

Click on link if you don't see the video: 

Brother Bruno

 Try the contemplative life. I think you'll like it.

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Sunday, October 4, 2020

Now is the Necessary Time

 Preach the Gospel always, when necessary use words. Now is the necessary time to speak up.

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Saturday, October 3, 2020

Harvest Time

Well it's time to get this party started. If we want to get 11 cows butchered by Christmas we have to start now. Ole 24 was the first volunteer. She came out of my Uncle Vance's herd in Worland. The lazy 6 over 6 is our old family brand. She's been on grass in the Black Hills for two months. Sister, thank you for sacrificing your life to feed the world. May your reward be great in Heaven. 

Probably weighing in at 1350lbs. She is/was a 2 1/2 year old open heifer 

The great white hunt. Some people say you can't knock a cow down with a 22. I disagree. You just have to take the safety off.

If you don't see the video, click on this link

Dad and I weren't tough enough to gut her by hand. Thank God for mechanical muscle. 

I love cattle.

Of course, I couldn't have done this without my trusty sidekick. I'm sure the next ten will go even more smoother.

Hey Fr. Bryce, what you gonna do with all that meat? Don't you have a day job? 

To the latter, yes. This enhances it. To the former, It's for all to enjoy. Wyoming just made an amendment to the Food Freedom Act, which now allows a producer to cut and distribute his own beef for a profit. To do so you have to become one of the Brothers. Interested in joining the Lungren Brothers Cattle Company enterprise? Let me know.

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