Reflections

This five-part section is the basis of The Vocation of the Agricultural Leader document (1st edition, 2016).

The EXECUTIVE SUMMARY succinctly presents the major factors we see shaping modern agriculture today and questions if current practices of agricultural  production and control are sustainable in the long run. We ask agricultural leaders to reflect upon principles that emanate from Christian teachings and present a set of vocational guidelines for agriculture and food production.

The INTRODUCTION explains what we mean by “agricultural leader” and how the idea of “vocation” is an urgent and practical one in today’s world beset by economic, ecological and social challenges. We ask leaders to profess a preferential regard for families, farmworkers, women and peasant farmers who are often pushed to the side in the name of “efficient” and industrial-scale agriculture.

The following sections delve into the substantial aspects of the reflection:

SEEING the World of Agriculture: Challenges and Opportunities (Note: This section is limited to five major forces or factors: Globalization; Financialization, Research & Technology; Technocracy & Power; and Ecological Impacts. We recognize other factors come into significant play; subsequent publications will address those, as limited resources permit.)

PRINCIPLES for Assessment: (Note: This section relies on Catholic social teaching, but is meant to reflect Christian thought and indeed moral thought applicable to all faith traditions.)

ACTING: From Aspirations to Practice (Note: This online version provides additional thinking than the printed document; we recognize this section requires further discussion and refinement.)

We welcome comments and reactions to this reflection. Your positive affirmations, along with constructive criticisms, will be helpful in improving and revising the next edition of The Vocation of the Agricultural Leader reflection.

Please send comments to info@CatholicRuralLife.org