A web site was unheard of back in the late
1800s when our monks first plowed fields, planted a vineyard and
orchard, and tended a few chickens and cows. These pioneer monks
were continuing the tradition of working the land surrounding the
monastery, that had been practiced through the centuries. The
thought was that as the monk worked the land, the land formed the
monk into a person of prayer, dependent on God's loving providence
for sustenance and material welfare.
In time, corn and cash crops were added to the list of products
derived from the monks' farming effort. In early 1900, Holstein cattle were introduced
at Subiaco to provide milk, butter, and cheese for the monks and students of the Academy.
For the next sixty years, the brothers would
milk and feed the dairy herd every morning and evening, often missing
to get the job done. Since 1964 when the dairy cattle were auctioned off, the face and
nature of farming at Subiaco has changed, as have the personnel that do the work. Other
more industry-wide changes have influenced the tradition of farming. Today,
"specialization" is the way to succeed in farming, and those who select their
specialization carefully fare well, in spite of start-up struggles.
We are making use of the latest technology and available expertise to reap rewards for effort invested. Adapting proven methods of cattle breeding and pasture management are important to our future in farming. So too, hiring the right people to work with us, especially in the face of our own decreased labor force, owing to the "graying" of our monks who served for years on the farm.
We appreciate your interest in this endeavor and welcome your comments. Special thanks
to those who are inclined to make donations or gifts to further the development in
these early years of the new century of our farm entity. May God reward you for your
Long familiar with milking cattle (the dairy herd was auctioned off in
1964) and then with beef cattle of various breeds (the existing cattle were auctioned
off in 1998 with a billboard sign on Highway 22 calling them "holy cows"), the decision
to get into the breeding of registered Black Angus cattle was a well considered and timely
one for Subiaco Abbey. The upgrading of Subiaco's cattle stock was necessary to insure
The production of purebred cattle got its boost when two Angus breeders donated 41
purebreds to the abbey. A donation by Ankony Angus of Clarkesville, Georgia, of an
Angus bull, Ankonian Subiaco, has also been of great help in getting breeding started.
The hope is to have 200 cows in a few years, making Subiaco a prime supplier in the
area for this breed. At present, we are improving pastures and doing the painstaking
record keeping and weighing of individual cows at regular intervals. This is required
in raising purebreds, and will be a model for other ranchers.
405 N Subiaco Avenue | Subiaco, AR 72865 | (479) 934-1000