U.S. agricultural leaders will join world leaders in Milan, Italy, to talk about how faith traditions can inform solutions to modern agricultural challenges. The National Farmers Union will send several of is leaders to the June 27-28 Faith, Agriculture, Food and the Environment symposium, including Doug Peterson, the president of Farmers Union Enterprises and the Minnesota Farmers Union, who will be a featured speaker at the event that focuses on Pope Francis’ eco-encyclical and how it relates to contemporary challenges in agriculture and food production.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to examine the crossroads of faith, food production and the environment and to look for better ways to ensure nutrition for the world’s people while managing our environmental footprint,” said Peterson.
The symposium events will be held at Civil Society Pavilion Cascina Triulza at EXPO 2015, which is taking place in Milan this summer. Peterson will speak at 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 27.
He will be joined at the event by the presidents of three other states’ farmers unions (Darin Von Ruden [Wisconsin], Mark Watne [North Dakota], Alan Merrill [Montana]), as well as Jim Ennis, the executive director of Catholic Rural Life.
“This symposium comes on the heels of the publication of Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment, and will be one of the first opportunities for farm leaders, theologians and academic experts from around the world to gather and discuss how to apply the key themes of the letter to agriculture,” said Ennis.
Cardinal Peter Turkson, the president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and a key architect of the pope’s encyclical, will begin the event by providing a faith-based perspective—rooted in Francis’ teaching—on the moral dimensions of farming.