It is good for people to realize that purchasing  is always a moral — and not simply economic — act. Hence the consumer has a  specific social responsibility, which goes hand-in- hand with the social  responsibility of the enterprise. Consumers should be continually educated  regarding their daily role. –  Pope Benedict XVI, Charity in Truth [Caritas in Veritate. . . ], no. 66

Crisis? Isn’t that extreme? 

Fact: In the past, there has been a 3-year cycle of low and high milk prices. When the price is more than the cost of production, farmers recover from low milk price years by catching up on past due bills and replacing worn out equipment. The present cycle has now moved into its 5th year of low milk prices. 

Fact: Wisconsin lost almost 700 dairy farms in 2018, an unprecedented rate of nearly two a day. Most were small operations unable to survive farm milk prices that, adjusted for inflation, were among the lowest in a half century.

Fact: UW-Extension has been holding a series “Supporting Farmers during challenging times” and is offering support and resources combating the high rate of farm suicides.

Possibly the bigger crisis is that so few of us are aware that our “neighbors” are hurting. Pope Francis has spoken often of the importance of accompaniment, of walking along side others. We are called by Jesus himself to Love your neighbor as yourself. This is a time when we all need to reach out in care and concern for others. Even more important than financial health is spiritual and emotional health.

When is the last time you asked your neighbor, “how are you doing?” and actually stopped to listen?

Explore the Issue

Catholic Life Articles

  • ‘Till the Earth and Keep It’

    “And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, ‘I need a caretaker’ — so God made a farmer.” This opening line from Paul Harvey’s famous speech to the Future Farmers of America (FFA) in 1978 is a sort of continuation of the Creation stories in Genesis 1 and 2.

  • Celebrating Rural Life and Service in God’s Country

    Father Nate Kuhn, Bishop William Patrick Callahan and Father William Dhein celebrate Rural Life Day with Dr. AnneMarie Elwing and family in Genoa. “The earth has yielded its fruit, the Lord our God has blessed us.” (Ps 67) This was not only the responsorial psalm for the Rural Life Day Mass on the farm but

  • A history of faith through the generations

    The McGowan family’s roots run deep at St. Mary Parish in Lyndon Station As one of the original farm families in Lyndon Station dating back to 1855, the McGowans have made it a family tradition to pass down their love of farming and their Catholic faith through eight generations. The McGowans are a tight-knit group

  • Faith, family and farming

    Jerry Durst reflects on 98 years of life in Keyesville It takes a special kind of person to be a farmer. The long days and hard work are not a lifestyle for everyone. Many wonder why someone would work so hard for so little. But, hard work and love for the Lord speak volumes as

Let us pray for the Blessings we receive each day from the Lord.

Let us pray for the land, water and air God has given us to care for.

Let us pray for those who work the land that they always be mindful and respectful of God’s creation.

Let us pray for favorable weather this growing season.

Let us pray for safety of our farmers and their families.

Let us pray for fair and just prices for our farmers so the small family farms can be sustained.

Let us pray for all who have been injured or lost their lives in farm accidents.