Christian farmers must react to the global economic crisis and the changes demanded to protect the environment by "cultivating a deep sense of responsibility, showing solidarity and sharing," Pope Benedict said.
"Appreciate the most noble and important aspects of the human person: the sense of duty, an ability to share and to sacrifice, solidarity, observing the proper need for rest and for physical and, especially, spiritual regeneration," the pope told delegates to a national conference of Italians who own or work on farms, ranches and commercial fisheries.
Families involved in agriculture traditionally have thrived on values the Church sees as necessary for a just and truly human life, he said.
The global economic crisis, "which is a moral crisis," demonstrates how much wider society needs to learn those same values, he said.
"I am thinking of respect for the dignity of the person, the search for the common good, honesty and transparency in running businesses, food security and safeguarding the environment and the countryside, and promoting the spirit of solidarity."