As Nebraskans enjoy their Thanksgiving feast tomorrow, Nebraska Farmers Union president John Hansen says only a small fraction of the cost of that meal goes back to the farmers who produced it.
“About 15.8 cents out of every food dollar actually goes to a farmer,” Hansen says. “There’s always plenty of profits being made in the food sector. The issue for agriculture is, we don’t usually get our fair share of that consumer food dollar.”
He says when you break down the cost of the trimmings to that Thanksgiving meal, the farmer’s share is usually abysmal.
“When you look at dinner rolls, the retail value is $3 and the farmer’s share is 6-cents,” Hansen says. “In the case of sweet potatoes, the retail is $1.69, and when you think about it, there’s just not a lot of processing to a sweet potato, and the farmer’s share is 24-cents.”
Hansen says the farmer’s share of the main course is also paltry.
“The turkey, retail value is $1.78 a pound, the farmer’s share is 93-cents,” he says.
Hansen says we should be thankful for the plentiful supply of top quality food, but we also need to be mindful of the people who do the work, take the risk and produce that food.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton