North Dakota abbey puts ranching operation out to pasture

August 1, 2011 3:27:11 AM PDT
A Roman Catholic monastery in North Dakota is putting its ranching operation out to pasture because it lacks monks with cowboy skills. Abbot Brian Wangler tells The Dickinson Press that ranching has been a part of Assumption Abbey since 1893, when it was in Devil's Lake. He says raising cattle helped make the monastery self-sufficient.

He says two monks now care for 260 cows at the Richardton abbey, but only one has the skills to do it by himself.

Seventy-six-year-old Brother Placid Gross has tended the monastery's cattle for 51 years and says it once had one of the biggest ranching operations in the region. He says he won't miss the hard work but will miss the cows.

Wangler says the abbey will rent its pastures to other ranchers.

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