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NFU Report: Farmers Receive 12 Cents of the Thanksgiving Food Dollar
USAgNet - 11/20/2019

Farmers and ranchers take home just 12.1 cents from every dollar that consumers spend on their Thanksgiving dinner meals, according to the annual Thanksgiving edition of the National Farmers Union (NFU) Farmer's Share publication. The popular Thanksgiving Farmer's Share compares the retail food price of traditional holiday dinner items to the amount the farmer receives for each item they grow or raise.

"As we gather around the Thanksgiving dinner table this year, we should take time to recognize and thank the family farmers and ranchers who provide our Thanksgiving meals," said NFU President Roger Johnson. "While consumer holiday food costs continue to decline, incomes for American farm and ranch families are have dropped dramatically over the past seven years. We're in the midst of the worst farm economic downturn in generations, and we're hopeful the Farmer's Share can help illustrate that fact to the general public."

On average, farmers receive 14.6 cents of every food dollar consumers spend throughout the year, while more than 85 percent of food costs cover marketing, processing, wholesaling, distribution and retailing. As the Thanksgiving Farmer's Share illustrates, the farmer's share is even lower for Thanksgiving food items.

Wheat farmers averaged a meager $0.03 on 12 dinner rolls that retail for $2.69. Dairy producers received only $1.66 from a $4.59 gallon of milk. And turkey growers, who raise the staple Thanksgiving dish, received just $0.06 per pound retailing at $1.49. Johnson says that $0.06 figure--while striking on its own--is particularly egregious when considering the fact that poultry integrators received $0.62 per pound.

The Farmer's Share is based on calculations derived from the monthly Agriculture Prices report produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service and price points of common grocery food items at Safeway supermarket. The farmer's share of retail turkey sales is reported by the Contract Poultry Growers Association of the Virginias, as national data on farm prices for turkey does not reflect the amount turkey growers receive.

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