Christian event at Achenbach farm to celebrate rural life

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On Monday, Sept. 21, at the Lonnie and Jane Achenbach farm in rural Eastman, Rural Life Day will celebrate God’s gift of the fruits of the earth and show appreciation toward farmers who are good stewards of these fruits and resources. The event, sponsored by the Rural Life Committee of the La Crosse Diocese, will begin with Bishop William P. Callahan saying Mass at 10 a.m. Clergy Father Viktor Feltes and Father James Weighner will also be there.

Awards presentations will follow Mass. The Achenbach family will receive the Friend of Rural Life Award, which recognizes those who have made significant contributions to rural life yet are not themselves engaged in production agriculture. The Strangers and Guests Award will be given to the Tom and Sharon Martin family. This award has been given for the past 20-plus years to a farm family who exemplifies Christian ideals in rural stewardship. Both of these families are exemplary in contributing to a flourishing rural culture in the area. Also as part of the celebration, Century Farm owners will be recognized.

Afterward, there will be a blessing of animals, machinery, and crops. A delicious dinner including local produce from Tom Martin will be served by the host parish, St. Wenceslaus of Eastman. The event will include a meal-time focus-group discussion with the national Catholic Rural Life representatives for anyone who wishes to take part. Rural Life Day will conclude around 1 p.m.

All who take interest in supporting a thriving rural culture in the area are invited to attend Rural Life Day. Those attending are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for distribution to the local food pantry.

In its 35th year, Rural Life Day is observed on or near the fourth Wednesday of September. Deaneries in the La Crosse Diocese take turns hosting the event. This is the second time Rural Life Day has occurred in Crawford County; the last time, the Boland family from Seneca hosted.  

The Lonnie and Jane Achenbach farm is located at 60003 Du Charme Ridge Rd., Eastman.

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