The “Vocation of the Agricultural Leader,” published in 2016, is a collaboration of the International Catholic Rural Association, the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace and Catholic Rural Life of the United States. The document, similarly to the “Vocation of the Business Leader,” (2012), connects the message of Catholic social teaching with those who participate in the broad and diverse occupations of farming and agriculture.
The “Vocation of the Agricultural Leader” reflects the same message that resonates through all of Church teaching—our respect for the life and dignity of the human person, our obligation to care for one another, and our duty to preserve and protect the material world and its abundant resources. The document says that science and technology should be used in service to humanity, not to diminish it, particularly in the case of the poor and vulnerable. It also notes that the forces of globalization should not subsume the vitality of families and small enterprise, which play such a foundational and critical role in the life and dignity of communities.
Those answering the call to a vocation in agriculture share in the Church’s vision for a life through which “God is known, served and glorified.” Whether on a large farm or a small one, working in the private or public sector, as an employer or employee, men and women are called to exercise their personal authority in a way that reflects a commitment to cooperating with God’s plan. Every level of the economy of farming and agriculture offers the chance to witness to and be inspired by our faith and moral convictions.
Regardless of where we are in the extended network of agricultural business and production, we lead, and by our example effect the common good through our obligation to consider the profound gifts we are privileged to share—the resources that surround us as part of God’s creation. The Vocation of the Agriculture Leader offers us a way to better understand the vocation of those called to farming and agriculture and the interconnection of our responsibilities to one another and stewardship of the material world.