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?
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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.