Farmer’s share of Thanksgiving turkey remains at 6 cents per pound

The farmer’s share of the cost of the turkey that is the centerpiece of many Thanksgiving feasts is 6 cents per pound, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. This is the same as last year, reports the National Farmers Union (NFU), which tracks the farmer’s share of the food dollar for five items typically served during the Thanksgiving holiday.

The farmer’s share reflects how much family farmers earn compared to the amount consumers pay at the grocery store.

The farmer’s share dropped on three items commonly served, NFU reports. The farmer’s share of a five-pound bag of potatoes dropped from $1.30 in 2022 to 64 cents in 2023, the farmer’s share of a 16-ounce bag of frozen corn dropped from 44 cents to 41 cents and the farmer’s share of a 12-ounce box of stuffing dropped from 13 cents to 9 cents.

The farmer’s share of one item increased from 2022 to 2023. The farmer’s share of a boneless two-pound ham increased to $1.32 in 2023 from $1 in 2022.

“Over the last 70 plus years, farmers have consistently seen their share of every grocery dollar spent shrink,” said Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) Vice President Anne Schwagerl. “It’s critical that we continue to raise awareness of how corporate consolidation throughout the food value chain squeezes family farmers out of a fair wage for their labor.”

Multiple waves of mergers and acquisitions during the last several decades have resulted in agriculture and food supply chains that are not only uncompetitive and fragile, but also underpay farmers. NFU’s Fairness for Farmers campaign is working to solve the monopoly crisis in food and agriculture through stronger antitrust enforcement and greater transparency. The goal of the Fairness for Farmers campaign is to increase the farmer’s share of the food dollar and bring fairness to farmers and consumers.

“As we prepare to enjoy our Thanksgiving meal, we extend our gratitude to the many people responsible for providing our food – from farmers and farmworkers to those who work throughout the supply chain to provide us with delicious, safe and nutritious food,” Schwagerl said. “Working together, we can make our supply chain fairer and more resilient in the years ahead.”