Farmers and ranchers took home only 11.3 cents of every dollar that Americans spent on their Thanksgiving Day feast. That’s according to the Thanksgiving edition of the National Farmers Union’s Farmer’s Share publication. The Farmer’s Share compares the retail prices of food in a traditional Thanksgiving holiday dinner to the amount farmers receive from each item they grow.
“We should take the time to recognize the farmers and ranchers that provided our Thanksgiving meals,” says NFU President Roger Johnson. “While consumer holiday prices continue to decline, farm income is dropping at a much faster rate. We’re in the midst of the worst farm economic downturn in generations, and we hope Farmer’s Share illustrates that to the general public.”
On average, farmers get 14.8 cents of every food dollar consumers spend throughout the year. More than 85 percent of food costs cover marketing, processing, wholesaling, distribution, and retailing. Johnson says farmers and ranchers play the most valuable role in actually producing the food we eat throughout the year, yet they make just pennies on the dollar for their products.
Johnson adds, “The major integrators who control the poultry markets have used their extreme bargaining power to suppress the earnings of the men and women who produce our turkeys while, at the same time, they take in record profits for themselves.” He says those same growers that raise our poultry get about five to six cents per pound of turkey they produce.