YOU ARE INVITED TO
A CONFERENCE AND SUMMER GET-TOGETHER
June 10 & 11 ,1998
SAINT JOHN’S UNIVERSITY
CATHOLIC DIOCESAN RURAL LIFE DIRECTORS, COMMITTEE MEMBERS & STAFF and ELCA SYNODS OF REGION 3 RURAL MINISTRY COMMITTEE MEMBERS & STAFF and
INVITED REGIONAL AND LOCAL REPRESENTATIVES
NORTH AND SOUTH DAKOTA AND MINNESOTA
CREATING A NEW VISION OF FARMING
We are all familiar with the dominant model of agriculture which threatens to be the future of agriculture and to be the horror of many, both farmers and the public. It is agriculture of astonishing production with absurdly high hidden costs, intense concentration of ownership, mechanization of the relationships between humans, animals and the products of the soil, and alienation of food producers from consumers. It generates great wealth from the countryside and returns poverty and dispossession to farmers and workers, harm to nature, depopulation and disintegration of its communities, churches and civic organizations. It is industrial agriculture. Without our concerted thought and action, it is the future.
We call you to join with us to conceive a new vision of farming. Let us begin the work toward a better future which will embody the traditional values of abundant production of food and the use of responsible means in doing it. We need forms of farming which allow us to act according to the strongest ethical convictions which we have inherited from our families, our churches and our culture and reward those who do the work with healthy and dignified lives.
This statement is taken from a new project entitled, The Soul of Agriculture: A New Production Ethic for the 21st Century. During our June 10-11, 1998 gathering at St. John’s University, School Sisters of Notre Dame Kathleen Storms and Mary Tacheny will lead us through this new vision statement to which many farmers, church leaders and environmentalists contributed.
The opening remarks by Randy Krzmarzick, farmer and writer from Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, will set the tone for this conference by his inspirational reflections, searching questions and presentation of values he holds as a farmer.