Farm group serves 34 cent lunch at state fair | TSLN.com

Farm group serves 34 cent lunch at state fair

Pushing a shopping cart through the grocery aisle, who hasn't felt sticker shock from time to time?

Fairgoers had an opportunity to learn just how much of that price tag South Dakota's farmers and ranchers take home after harvesting the crops or livestock they raise during Saturday's Farmers Share Luncheon hosted by South Dakota Farmers Union during the South Dakota State Fair in Huron.

"Everyone is concerned about high prices in the grocery store – I understand that, it wasn't too many years ago that I was shopping for a family of five," said Karla Hofhenke, Executive Director of S.D. Farmers Union. "However, what our state's farmers and ranchers actually take home as income is a far cry from the prices we all see on our grocery receipt after a trip to the super market."

To clearly illustrate this, S.D. Farmers Union hosts the Farmers Share Luncheon, sold to fairgoers at the same price that farmers receive for raising the ingredients. This year's lunch, which retails for $8 will be sold to diners for only .34 cents. The lunch is a pulled pork sandwich, baked beans, potato chips and milk.

Each food item is priced out so diners can see exactly how much South Dakota Farmers and Ranchers take home for the wheat, meat, milk and other commodities used to make the lunch.

"As a farmer, I know that in that $5 box of cold cereal I only receive about .06 cents for the corn that I grew; however it's tough to convey that message to folks who don't grow food for sale," said Jim Wahle, a fifth-generation McCook County farmer who raises corn and soybeans on the land his great-great grandparents homesteaded in 1882.

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Wahle was among the 1,000 people to enjoy the Farmers Share Lunch during Saturday's Farmers Union Day at the State Fair. A strong advocate for the state's family farmers and ranchers, Wahle serves on the Farmers Union board of directors and is the District 2 County President.

Supporting farmers like Wahle, is the motivation behind the Farmers Share Luncheon, explained Hofhenke. "Everything we do within our organization is to support family farmers and ranchers, rural communities and their youth. As more and more South Dakotans become generations separated from the farms and ranches which make up our state's number one industry, we feel it is our responsibility to educate them on the work, money and pride that goes into producing food ingredients."

To learn more about how South Dakota Farmers Union supports South Dakota's family farmers and ranchers, visit http://www.sdfu.org.

–S.D. Farmers Union