The latest effort of Faith, Food & the Environment project was a conference held in St. Paul, Minn., on March 21-23, 2018. The conference — titled “A Noble Vocation: Integrating Faith, Food and the Environment” — was an opportunity to further explore the themes expressed in the faith-based reflection, The Vocation of the Agricultural Leader (2016).

This conference, which also serves as a follow-up to the initial 2014 Symposium, addressed pressing challenges facing modern agriculture from a faith-based perspective: How can religious beliefs guide us in the ethical production of abundant foods while caring for the environment and upholding the dignity of farmers and workers?

Videos of some of the presentations are available at Catholic Rural Life, one of the organizers of the conference. The full program of sessions and presenters is found by scrolling to the bottom of the CRL webpage. At this time, the organizers have not made all the presentations available for online review. Contact if you would like to receive more details about conference proceedings.

For the time being, here is what is available or suitably related (links forthcoming):

Opening address by Most Rev. Bernard Hebda, Archbishop of St. Paul-Minneapolis

Session #1: Environmental Challenges

Fred Kirschenmann, Ph.D., Director Emeritus of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

John Ikerd, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia

Session #2: International Challenges

Lutheran World Relief

World Farmers Organization

Session #3: Task of the Pastoral Leader

Rev. Gregory Mastey

Sr. Esther Mary Nickel

Brad Roth

Session #4: Implications of a Changing Climate

Special Presentation: Insights on Agrarianism in the U.S. by James L. Nolan, author of “What They Saw in America”

Session #5: Indigenous Perspectives of the Land

Craig Hassel, Ph.D.

Mark Bellcourt, Ph.D.

Anthony Johnson

Concluding Session: Attendees respond to what they heard, learned and found inspiring