Long Live the American Rancher

Britt and I spent our high school years very involved in an organization called Future Farmers of America (FFA). As part of our sophomore year curriculum in agricultural education, we were required to write and deliver a speech about a topic in ag that was relevant to our own aspirations and livelihood. One of the things we wrote about was the monopolization of large corporations in agriculture, which edged out the small producer and spelled disaster for the consumer. The elimination of competition in the market, coupled with the “dumping” of foreign product into the US market that didn’t meet the same health regulations, brought about a sub-standard product whose origins were difficult to trace and whose quality was less than ideal.

Much has been done to fight the monopolies in agriculture with little to no success. The cattle market is one of the only remaining sectors that hasn’t yet been swallowed whole. The small farmer or rancher’s way of life is not feasible for younger generations anymore.

BUT, we are here for the fight. There is much to be gained from a return to the land, from a return to traditional ways of practicing ag— for the land, for the consumer, and for our nation as a whole. Grassroots efforts in an era of extreme connectedness can work for good in a way that is new and exciting.

Bell Road Beef wants to be a part of this— a part of sidestepping the monopolies in creative ways to get you a product you believe in and trust, and to help bring about the possibility of forming families and communities in a way of life that is free from the constraints of suffocating technology.

We love being your ranchers. And we are grateful for the ways you support this little revolution. Long live Future Farmers of America! Long live the American Rancher! 

Our friend in the ranching community just created this fantastic tee...

One of Our Favorites: Bell Road Italian Meatballs

Easy to make, feeds a crowd and it’s delicious! Try it out: 



  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups mushroom, sliced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (46 ounce) can tomato juice
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano 
  • 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork sausage 
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups Italian breadcrumbs 
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons dried parsley 
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper


Add all sauce ingredients to large dutch oven (or crockpot) and stir. 

Place the meatball ingredients in large mixing bowl. Mix together with hands. Shape mixture into golf-ball-sized meatballs. Place them in sauce, making sure they’re covered with the sauce. 

Cover and bake at 250 degrees for at least five hours (may also use crockpot on high).

Time: 5.5 hours

Serves: An army

How A City Boy Ended up Selling Beef

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It was eight years ago that I first stepped foot on a ranch, the same one that is now home to family. At that time, I was going down with my then co-worker (future girlfriend and now wife) as I was the only one from the office that accepted a Memorial Day ranch party invitation. Being from the north suburbs of Chicago and having no prior experience with agriculture, I didn’t know the difference between a steer and a heifer. So, while my future father-in-law was quick to put me to work, I was slow to be of any meaningful help (I even closed a few gates on myself).

Nonetheless, I was enthralled not only by the land but by the life and those living it. I distinctly remember attending my first Mass in the small town of Clayton and the congregation praying for rain at the close of the service. It struck me how many of the things I had always taken for granted—rain and wind in particular—were the very things this hard working community depended on to live. I have seen firsthand that an agriculturist has to be resilient and smart to care for their land and animals. It’s certainly not an easy life, but it’s a rewarding one.  

Naturally, as our family grew and my wife and I have continued our roles at Word on Fire in the suburbs of Chicago, we yearned to have a deeper connection with my wife’s family and the ranch they call home. So, when my sister and brother-in law presented us with the opportunity to partner on a direct-to-consumer beef business, it didn’t take us long to say yes. 

Within months Bell Road Beef was born, and we split our duties based on our strengths. My brother and sister-in-law, admittedly, shoulder the more difficult part of the business: running our social media accounts and everything related to raising and shipping premium, dry-aged beef. Meanwhile, my wife and I took on the online portion of the business: website, design, marketing, etc. 

We’re a little under a year into this adventure, and while it’s been a lot of work, it’s been fun and rewarding. The pandemic has accelerated our plans and we’re doing our best to scale to meet increased demand. In addition, the current crisis has accentuated issues within the beef industry— in particular, bottlenecks at packing facilities that have caused beef, poultry, and pork shortages. These issues are evident to the average American consumer, and they are now looking for more and better options.

The current market situation presents a tremendous opportunity for those looking to sell directly to consumers. Many industries have accelerated their eCommerce platforms and are able to sell their goods successfully in ways they never thought possible. The demand for agricultural products is certainly there, and we want to help you capitalize on this opportunity to utilize all of the novel tools and ideas to get your product easily in the hands of your ideal customer. We’ve created a simple PDF showing the formula we’ve used to exponentially grow our business in this unprecedented market, and we’d love to help you grow yours. 

If you’re not working in agriculture, thank those who work so hard to bring you healthy, quality food. And don’t forget to pray for rain! Thank you!

Father’s Day Gift Guide

  1. FireDisc Cooker – The premiere Father’s Day gift. Versatile and easy to use, any Dad would love this in his backyard or on a camping trip.
  2. Filson work shirt for summer – Good for mowing, working on the ranch, fishing, or playing in the park with the kids.
  3. James Avery leather bracelet – Our favorite Texas jewelry maker offers a masculine reminder of faith and family, great for any dad.
  4. Chicago Deep Dish Pizza (Lou Malnati’s) – Mmmmm. Who doesn’t love deep dish?
  5. Funny beef tee shirt – Is your dad or husband the funny one in the group? And does he love a good steak? And has he been quarantined since March? Have we got the perfect gift for him!
  6. For the guy with the sweet tooth – Another favorite of ours from Big Fat Cookie.
  7. Bell Road Beef Cap – Why not?

Something FREE and FUN from the kids for dad (click here to download). 


Bringing Back Sundays

Back when the stay-at-home orders began and Churches closed for the time, we decided it was a perfect opportunity to put a little more effort into making Sundays special.  Thus, Sunday Night Special (#sundaynightspecial) came about!

We wanted it to stand out, as a day in the week that was not only for rest and family time, but one in which dinners and watching Mass together became a focus.  So, what was going to make it different than any other dinner or any other day?  Just a few tiny additions and a little planning.

Here are a few ways to bring Sunday back…

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1.  Sit down for a meal together, as a family.  Bring out the fancier dishes.  Maybe even the wine glasses.  Use placemats – our kids just colored pieces of paper for each person.  Maybe even turn some background music on.  Let your kids dress up!

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2. Do a little planning.  Choose a recipe that’s a family favorite, or try a new one!  It’s even more fun when you can get everyone to help in their own way.  Make a special dessert.  Here are a few we have tried and loved: Key Lime Pie Jars, Skillet Cookie, Chocolate Cobbler, Cream Cheese Pound Cake.

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3. Light candles.  Even if it’s still daylight.  It just makes it a little less ordinary.

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4. Gather together for some family time.  If you still cannot participate in Church, find a livestream.  Read aloud from a book you’ve been wanting to read as a family.  Play a board game.  Go for a walk.  Or, take a much needed nap!

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5. Let the “shoulds” go.  Don’t do the things you feel you must do to stay afloat.  Let the housekeeping and small daily tasks play second fiddle to the priority of rest.  It’s the end of the week, time for a reset.  And, time to enjoy each other’s presence.  It will be worth it, I promise.

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I know it’s difficult to change routines.  And sometimes, adding anything to a day just seems like extra work.  But, if the day is spent in rest, and the family can pitch in where they’re capable, making Sundays a priority for family, and dinner around a table is worth every bit of effort.  Again, it does not have to be extravagant…just done with love.  That is what it is for.  And, that is what they will remember.

Bring Sundays back, and tag us with #sundaynightspecial so we can not only do this as a family, but as a community!