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Catholic leaders call for a just framework in farm and food policies

Leaders of multiple Catholic organizations are asking the Senate Agriculture Committee to develop legislation that serves the needs of low-income families, helps vulnerable farming communities and encourages sustainable stewardship of natural resources.

“We know from personal experience how the Farm Bill affects us all, but most significantly those who are hungry, living in poverty, and struggling to keep farming a viable way of life,” Catholic leaders state in the letter.

The March 6 letter to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry addressed possible changes to U.S. policy for food and agriculture that the committee is considering as it holds hearings on the 2012 Farm Bill.

Bishops Stephen E. Blaire and Richard E. Pates signed the letter on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The letter was also signed by Fr. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA; Carolyn Woo, president of Catholic Relief Services; and James Ennis, executive director of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference.

In their letter, they outlined priorities to consider that would help provide for the poor and hungry, offer support to farms that are truly in need, and encourage stewardship of the nation’s resources.

The bishops and other Catholic leaders welcomed the 2012 Farm Bill as “an opportunity to address our nation’s broken and outdated agricultural policies.”

They said that the present moment is “a crucial time to build a more just framework” of policies that promote the common good by helping those in need and encouraging sustainable stewardship.

Learn more about the 2012 Farm Bill at our Agriculture & Food section.

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