National Farmers Union reports farmers and ranchers will take home 12.1 cents from every dollar that consumers spend on food for their Thanksgiving meals, according to the NFU Farmer's Share publication. The 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% 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 $0.03 on 12 dinner rolls that retail for $2.69. Dairy producers received $1.66 from a $4.59 gallon of milk. Turkey growers received $0.06 per pound retailing at $1.49.
Thanksgiving presents an opportunity to raise awareness about food production, including misconceptions about food costs. “Farmers and ranchers play the most valuable role in actually producing the food that is served at holiday dinners, yet they make just pennies on the dollar for their products," Johnson said.
The Farmer's Share is based on calculations derived from the monthly Agriculture Prices report produced by USDA'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.
Click the download button below to download the farmer's share graphic.