ICRA was founded in Rome in 1962 following an international meeting of Catholics on rural life, as a liaison body of Catholic research institutions, corporations, foundations, associations and movements operating agriculture and the rural sector.

Recognized by the Holy See in 1965 as an international Catholic organization, ICRA has been a member of the so-called “Conference of International Catholic Organizations” and has established relations with various international organizations at various levels. As a faithful follower of the Gospel, ICRA operates to spread the principles of Catholic social teaching and a spirit of solidarity in the world of agriculture, so that rural people can have a dignified life, become agents of their own human, spiritual, and social growth, and cooperate for the common good.