Spring blessings reap harvest of faith among farmers

Father Andrew Sohm talked with farmers Marlan and Sherry Rolfes of Newcastle, Neb., after blessing their fields April 11.

NEWCASTLE, Neb. — For the past five years each spring and fall, Father Andrew Sohm has traveled the highways, two-lane and dirt roads to farms near the parishes he pastors, St. Peter in Newcastle and St. Joseph in Ponca.

He is busy blessing farmers, seeds and the harvest.

"It's a chance to get to know my parishioners well," said Father Sohm, who grew up on a farm near Danbury, Iowa. "Lots of priests have gotten away from blessing the seed, gotten away from the harvest."

Farmers, churches help overseas farms via Foods Resource Bank

A farmer in the Bolivia-Potosi program in the Andes Mountains used an improved plow allowing for better soil preparation. The program, which partners with the Food Resource Bank, also helps farmers reduce the damage by crop pests.

Richard Aparco of Peru stood nervously before about 50 people at Assumption Parish in O'Fallon and discussed crop rotation and yields, organic fertilizer, greenhouses, irrigation and more.

An agronomist coordinator of a Foods Resource Bank program in Peru coordinated by Lutheran World Relief, Aparco added a bushel of thanks to supporters of the Christian response to world hunger.

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