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Ray County Farm Bureau members helped celebrate Thank a Farmer Week, Feb. 2-8, a celebration of the U.S. food supply provided by America’s farmers and ranchers.
Within the first two months of the year, average Americans earn enough to pay for their annual food supply. It takes until late April to earn enough to pay for local, state, and federal taxes.
Despite increases in early 2009, food prices have stabilized and in some instances dropped. Much of the increase was related to the escalating cost of energy.
Remember the crude oil price topping $140 per barrel impacting fuel prices? Add increased labor costs of approximately 19 percent to the mix and it all trickles down to the consumer in higher food prices.
Of every retail dollar spent for food, 81 cents goes for marketing expenses. This includes processing, packaging, wholesaling, distributing, transporting, and retailing food products. The remaining 19 cents goes back to the farmer who uses it to pay for operating costs in providing raw products for food. The farmer’s share is used to purchase farm equipment, fertilizer, fuel, seed, feed and other input costs.
Agriculture is important to the economy, not only in Missouri, but the nation. Today’s farmers grow more food and do it with fewer resources than any other time in history. As consumer demands change, farmers meet those needs by providing an increasing variety of goods. According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, technology and innovations in agriculture allow one U.S. farmer to provide enough food and fiber for 154 people.
Thank a Farmer Week is an appropriate time to “thank a farmer.” As a career, they have chosen to spend their livelihood providing food and fiber for our nation and abroad.
– Submitted by Ray County Farm Bureau