Thanksgiving 2023 - Thank a Farmer - AgTexas Farm Credit Services

Thanksgiving 2023 – Thank a Farmer

By November 20, 2023Blog
Thank a Farmer simple brown graphic

It’s that time of year again. The air is getting cooler, the leaves are changing, and most importantly, the delicious Thanksgiving feast is right around the corner! As we gear-up to add another Thanksgiving under our belt (along with a few extra pounds), I’d like to take a moment and reflect on a topic that hits close to home. This year when you gather around the table with loved ones and recall all the things you are thankful for, don’t forget about the American farmer. This rings true for every meal, but it’s a great reminder on a holiday that is primarily food-focused and not to mention, it has “thanks” in the name. To give more context behind our reason to thank a farmer, let’s dive into the statistics surrounding American producers and the Thanksgiving holiday.

USDA Thanksgiving Dinner Infographic Fall Tones

Retrieved Nov. 20, 2023 from USDA’s Facebook Page

According to the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the United States is the largest turkey producer in the world. A recent study by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service stated that over 210 million turkeys are raised on approximately 2,500 farms across the country every year. Information derived from those sources concluded around 34 million of those turkeys are sold in the month of November alone – primarily for the Thanksgiving holiday. According to the National Farmers Union, an average 11 pound turkey costs the consumer $21.89 and the producer only receives $0.66 of that cost. Oddly enough, the two staple items at most Thanksgiving meals, turkey and stuffing, have the lowest return back to the farmer at just $0.02 and $0.03 on the dollar. Although not as low, other Thanksgiving food items are also going for cents on the dollar to our American producers. The National Farmers Union has included a list of the average cost of popular Thanksgiving foods in the grocery store and the corresponding amount of profit the farmer makes on each purchase.

“• Mashed Potatoes, 5lb bag: Retail Price – $3.99, Farmer’s Share – $0.64
• Sweet Corn, 16 oz frozen: Retail Price – $2.99, Farmer’s Share – $0.41
• Stuffing, 12 oz box: Retail Price – $3.99, Farmer’s Share – $0.09
• Boneless Ham, 2lb: Retail Price – $12.98, Farmer’s Share – $1.32
• Pumpkin Pie Filling, 15 oz can: Retail Price – $1.79, Farmer’s Share – $0.16
• Cranberries, 12oz: Retail Price – $2.99, Farmer’s Share – $0.29”

Rodney Schronk with his corn crop and a quote about why he farmsThere is no denying this information is tough to look at. We’re all feeling the effects of an inflated economy this Thanksgiving; however, this holiday season is a great reminder to be thankful for all that we do have. American agriculture producers provide this great nation with the safest, most robust, cost-effective food supply in the world. In a time when there seems to be a lot to complain about, we must shift our focus to the many blessings around us. For instance, hold tighter to a loved one, savor every last bite on your plate, pray for those who worked tirelessly to put food on your table, remember your freedom was purchased at a high cost, and most of all, don’t forget to thank the American farmer and rancher. What we can’t make up in finances, we have the ability to make up in gratitude to folks like one of our member-owners and Texas corn producer, Rodney Schronk. When faced with the bleak economic outlook as laid out above, you may be wondering “why” producers continue to provide for the consumer. According to Rodney, the answer can be found in the joy of overcoming adversity alongside his family. Rodney is one of many American producers we are thankful for this year. We hope you have a full and blessed Thanksgiving – and remember to thank a farmer!

Ag Always,
Hadley Chote

Sources:
Porter, P. by J. (2020, November 9). Turkey for two? A feast for four? Thanksgiving comes in all sizes. USDA. https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2020/11/09/turkey-two-feast-four-thanksgiving-comes-all-sizes

NFU releases 2023 Farmer’s share of Thanksgiving Food Dollar – National Farmers Union. National Farmers Union – United to Grow Family Agriculture. (2023, November 13). https://nfu.org/2023/11/13/nfu-releases-2023-farmers-share-of-thanksgiving-food-dollar/

United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (2023). Thanksgiving Dinner, In 2022, American Farmer’s Produced. Retrieved November 20, 2023. https://www.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=730643072431028&id=100064560259181&mibextid=WC7FNe

Nifa Authors, Lori Tyler Gula. (n.d.). Land-grant universities make Thanksgiving dinner more delicious. National Institute of Food and Agriculture. https://www.nifa.usda.gov/about-nifa/blogs/land-grant-universities-make-thanksgiving-dinner-more-delicious