Today, March 14, is National Ag Day and the theme is Agriculture: Food for Life. This day celebrates and gives thanks for the hard work of American farmers. They provide food, sustenance, fiber, fuel and much more. The Sisters of St. Francis, in Oldenburg Indiana, give thanks for being part of the backbone of America today. Michaela Farm, a small rural farm in Southeastern Indiana, plays a vital role in supporting the mission of providing fresh, local, naturally produced produce and eggs to the Sisters at their motherhouse and to the local community. It is a ministry emphasizing our role as caretakers of the earth and our responsibility as humans to nurture the connection between body and soul. One farm in rural Indiana can make a difference. “No matter who we are, where we live, or what we do, we all have reason every day to celebrate and thank our farmers.” (Jerry Raynor, Steven Brown)
The Sisters celebrate Michaela Farm’s farmers and their role in not only feeding the people of the area, but also their spirits. They witness to the joy of farming and its connection to the God of creation. Wendell Berry, in his book The Unsettling of America, sums up the philosophy and spirituality of Michaela Farm, and all farms, in this way: “The soil is the great connector of life, the source and distinction of all. It is the healer, the restorer and the resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, and death into life. Without proper care of it we have no community, because without proper care of it we can have no life.”
We give thanks to all farmers today, but especially to those so dedicated to Michaela Farm, who know that growing food is vital for the life of the body, but also the cultivation of the human soul. We also thank all of you who support Michaela Farm in many ways, and for your support of all the farms in America. We could not do this without you.
The Sisters of St. Francis
March 14, 2019