Sign up for weekly e-bulletins:

Agriculture and Food

Farm Bill 2012: Congress Must Act Now
For the sake of our nation’s health, our farmers, and our natural resources, we need Congress to do its job. We need a better farm bill, and we need it this year!   Sign a petition to Congress by clicking here.   What kind of farm bill do we seek? An equitable, sustainable, 21st century farm bill must include these esse   >> Read On

Petition Congress: Urge new & better Farm Bill now
Our message to Congress has been clear all year:  We need an equitable, sustainable farm bill, and we need it this year.   Unfortunately, members of Congress had more party politics on their minds and less in the way of common good policy initiatives. Congress left town just as the current farm bill expired (October 1), and they didn’t bother to finis   >> Read On

The 2012 Farm Bill: Uncertain future as House fails to act
A spokesperson for House Agriculture Committee Chair Frank Lucas (R-OK) said they have thrown in the towel on any farm bill action in the House before the November election. The September 30 expiration date of the current farm bill will be allowed to come and go with no action at all from the House. But many farm and rural groups continue to make an urgent call for renew   >> Read On

Native American Scholarships available for college students
The Paul Schultz Sacred Manoomin Fund is committed to support ongoing efforts of Native Americans to gain academic expertise in their effort to preserve the manoomin (wild rice) in its natural state as found in lakes, rivers, and streams.   Paul Schultz (1944-2011) is best known as a gifted healer, teacher, and speaker.  Driven by his desire    >> Read On

Native American Scholarships available for college students
The Paul Schultz Sacred Manoomin Fund is committed to support ongoing efforts of Native Americans to gain academic expertise in their effort to preserve the manoomin (wild rice) in its natural state as found in lakes, rivers, and streams.   Paul Schultz (1944-2011) is best known as a gifted healer, teacher, and speaker.  Driven by his desire to connect   >> Read On

The Ethics of Eating: Why Eating is a Moral Act
  My interactions with rural pastors and lay leaders around the country often spur me to write about the ethics of eating and to explain why eating is a moral act. Two recent events compel me to do so.   During a recent rural ministry course taught in partnership with a diocesan seminary, I faced a question by one of the seminarians who skeptically aske   >> Read On

Jubilee Farm Educates Young and Old on Ethical Eating
Imagine children on a field trip to a nearby farm, all excited to learn about gardening. Instead, they’re shocked to learn the same food their parents buy in the store, comes from a garden like the one they’re standing in. Well, that’s what happened to one middle school boy on a visit to Jubilee Farm, just west of Springfield, Ill.    &ldq;   >> Read On

Prolonged Drought Making Corn Belt Suffer
  According to a recent government report, the drought gripping the Corn Belt and more than half the United States has reached proportions not seen in more than 50 years. This is jacking up crop prices and threatening to drive up the cost of food.   About 55 percent of the continental United States is now designated as in moderate drought or worse. The    >> Read On

House Agriculture Committee passes Farm Bill; House floor action remains uncertain
On July 12, the House Committee on Agriculture passed the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (FARRM), the Committee’s version of the Farm Bill. In these past weeks, we have worked together to remind Congress that the moral measure of our nation's agriculture policies is how they serve "the least of these."   We greatly appr   >> Read On

Archdiocese of Cincinnati Woman Finds Joy in 'The Garden of God'
This blog post originally appeared on "Living Our Faith," a blog of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Dirt. Icky bugs. Sweat. Broken, dirty fingernails.  Makes you wonder why anyone would want to spend six months of the year in a garden, doesn’t it?  Much less a garden that isn’t of direct benefit to yourself, but only adds to the work you have elsewhere.    >> Read On

"Live Your Faith, and Eat it Too" - by Scott McLarty
(To download this article, click on the link at the very bottom.)   Our culture encourages us to compartmentalize everything, divide life up into neat bits of time, color-coded and meticulously organized, even our date-nights and play-time with our kids.   But no part of human existence and activity exists outside the bounds of divine concern, including wha   >> Read On

"Eating is a Moral Act: Revisiting the Ethics of Eating" - by Jim Ennis
While participating in a conference entitled Faith, Food and Farming in the San Joaquin Valley of California last fall, I was asked by a local reporter what the Church had to say about agriculture and food production. The tone of his question betrayed his skepticism that the Church had anything to say about secular matters such as food, food production, or the economic pligh   >> Read On

Fertile Ground for Service - Parish gardens in the Diocese of Arlington
This article originally appeared in the April 17, 2012, edition of the "Catholic Herarld," the Diocese of Arlington's Catholic newspaper. Reprinted with permission.   As the Easter season celebrates the risen Christ, who emerged from a dark tomb and appeared to Mary Magdalene in a garden, so springtime revels in new life that pokes up and blossoms in gar   >> Read On

Farm Bill Update: Your Voice Made a Difference
In a joint statement released by the National Catholic Rural Life Conference, Catholic Relief Services, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Charities USA, they stated:  Thanks in part to your many e-mails, phone calls, visits and letters, the Senate Agriculture Committee last week passed a 2012 Farm Bill with provisions that the Catholic community    >> Read On

Path to the 2012 Farm Bill: Senate writes a bill, House plans deep budget cuts
The Senate Agriculture Committee has passed a new farm bill as of April 26. According to the National Journal: 0 false 18 pt 18 pt 0 0 false false false /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0   >> Read On

Sustainable Agriculture Coalition releases new platform for Farm Bill reform
Urgent need for new Farm and Food policies ~ Sustainable Agriculture Coalition releases 2012 Farm Bill Platform ~ The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) has released its comprehensive 2012 Farm Bill policy platform, Farming for the Future: A Sustainable Agriculture Agenda for the 2012 Food and Farm Bill. The detailed platform    >> Read On

"Food Fight" - The Citizen's Guide to the Next Food and Farm Bill
More people than ever are awakening to the importance of food and farm policy. A new resource guidebook is available that will likely encourage many of us to add our voices to the movement for Farm Bill reform. Food Fight: The Citizen's Guide to the Next Food and Farm Bill We here at NCRLC highlight this publication because we are listed as one of the many organizatio   >> Read On

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, livi   >> Read On

"Right Relationships in Faith: Farming and the Creative Good" - by Dr. Christopher Thompson
  Dr. Christopher Thompson, academic dean of St. Paul Seminary, and NCRLC Board member presented on reclaiming our Catholic heritage in the understanding of agriculture at our special session at the annual Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in Washington, DC. He asks how we can reclaim the creative good in modern agriculture, applying a Catholic philosophy of n   >> Read On

Will there be a new Farm Bill?
The U.S. Farm Bill is the primary agricultural and food policy tool of the federal government. This comprehensive bill of many parts is reviewed and re-authorized every five years by the U.S. Congress. The current Farm Bill, authorized in 2008, expired on October 1st.   Despite a proposed bill by the House Agriciulture Committee passed during the summer, House l   >> Read On

Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships: "Toolkit" Guide to government services
The White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships have developed a helpful "Toolkit" guide for organizations and groups to access federal government services. This guide points out particular opportunities to form partnerships with Centers for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships across government, as well as helpful information on how to app   >> Read On

Pope says family farms help ensure stable food security
On July 1, Pope Benedict XVI received participants in the thirty-seventh Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The pope cautioned against price speculation, and said that "poverty, underdevelopment and the resulting hunger are often the outcome of selfish attitudes which, arising from man's heart, find expression in his social   >> Read On

"MATER ET MAGISTRA Or 'Well Begun is Half Done'" - by Dr. Christopher Thompson
In May, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace is sponsoring an International Congress marking the 50th anniversary of John XXIII’s social encyclical, Mater et Magistra. It’s a great occasion to take stock of our efforts to engage these issues in a sustained manner and I am honored to be taking part in the congress. But I will have to admit that for t   >> Read On

"Sustainable Agriculture" - Matt Liebman
This article first appeared in the Fall 2009 issue of Catholic Rural Life. On Oct. 4, 1979, Pope John Paul II addressed a crowd of several hundred thousand assembled at Living History Farms about the interrelated issues of farming, environment and community. In his words, the pope called for gratitude to God for the gift of working with the land, steward   >> Read On

Pope urges a reevaluation of agriculture
(Article first appeared on Zenit News, Nov. 14, 2010) VATICAN CITY, NOV. 14, 2010 ( The time is now to launch a reevaluation of agriculture, and place the sector back into its rightful place in the global economy, says Benedict XVI. The Pope reflected on the situation of modern agriculture today before praying the midday Angelus together with those gathered in   >> Read On

Pope says everyone should commit to agricultural sector
If the world wants to be united against hunger, then poverty must be fought through "authentic human development,"using the fact that a person is a unity of body, soul and spirit, Pope Benedict said in his 2010 World Food Day address to Mr Jacques Diouf, Director General Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). While much has been achieved thr   >> Read On

"Should the Church be involved in agricultural policy?" by Jim Ennis
By Jim Ennis Executive Director, NCRLC   A popular rural radio program recently posed this question to its listeners: “Do you think churches should take positions on agricultural issues?”   The underlying subtext was that faith-based organizations, especially churches, have NO business taking positions on agricultural matters. In the   >> Read On

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food
NCRLC is one among many faith groups partnering with USDA in their efforts to promote local food and rural development. KNOW YOUR FOOD, KNOW YOUR FARMER is a USDA-wide effort to create new economic opportunities by better connecting consumers with local producers. It is also the start of a national conversation about the importance of understanding where your food    >> Read On