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USCCB, other Catholic organizations weigh in on farm bill, call for reduction in subsidies

May 13, 2013

The chairmen of two committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have joined the leaders of Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Relief Services, and the National Catholic Rural Life Conference in weighing in on five aspects of the 2013 Farm Bill.

Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on International Justice and Peace, called “adequate funding levels in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), and other programs that help hungry people.”

The bishops and other Catholic leaders also discussed international food security and development, conservation, rural development, and subsidies in a May 9 letter to the leadership of the US Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

“In these times of financial hardship, our public policies should call for shared sacrifice,” they said in reference to subsidies. “Given current high commodity prices and federal budget constraints, agricultural subsidies and direct payments can be reduced overall, and targeted to small and moderate-sized farms, especially minority owned-farms. Government resources should assist those who truly need assistance and support those who comply with environmentally sound and sustainable farming practices.”


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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: mgreen32234 - May. 15, 2013 10:06 AM ET USA

    unum, Cardinal Dolan as well. His heft and love of lobbying would make him a terrific candidate.

  • Posted by: unum - May. 13, 2013 5:35 PM ET USA

    Bishop Blaire should be aware that the House elections are next year. He can run for office and have a vote on the nation's agriculture policies and budget. On the other hand, if he wants to be a real bishop instead of a politician, we could use more bishops talking to their flocks about the New Evangelization needed in this Year of Faith. The Catholic laity might just turn this nation around if they had a little leadership from their hierarchy.