2Bits: Farmer’s Share? Really? More like Farmer’s Tidbits….
Rock bottom–the farmer’s share of the American food dollar has reached an all-time low.
The farmer’s share is at a 15-year low.
The USDA’s Economic Research Service’s (ERS) recently released “The Farmers Share,” is a stark reminder of the state of agriculture income. The ERS reviews and reports on the portion of every dollar American consumers spend on food that can be contributed to farmers.
Disappointing, yes! Frustrating, absolutely.
Disappointing because there is a magnitude of technology being developed and implemented by today’s farmers. From seed development; GPS-guided planting; drone-monitored crop and livestock health; to in-depth nutrient analysis of harvested products, farmers are utilizing technology to improve their production processes. Often, this technology comes with a price tag.
Frustrating because there are so many touch points impacting this share that most farmers have no influence over. Tariffs, international trade agreements, government regulations, commodity market fluctuations due to human-started or natural disasters, global food giants supply chain maneuvering, and weather to name a few.
When the American farmer on average, earns only 14.8 cents on every food dollar consumers have spent, how do you motivate young farmers to farm?
And, what happened to the other 85 cents? Did ALL of that go toward processing, wholesaling, retailing, marketing, and distribution? The continuous decline in the farmer’s share should alarm you. This has led to more farm families seeking off-the-farm income.
82% of U.S. farm household income now comes from off-farm work.
Farming was once a way of life. Now, for many farmers, it has turned into a part-time job with full-time demands.
So, farmers are doing more with less. Less farm income and less time. Crazy, isn’t it.
So, what can we do to positively impact the farmer’s share?
Each of us is a small player in the food supply change. However, a lot of small efforts can make a big change. Whether you’re a farmer or food buyer, work to shorten the food supply chain. Farmers–sell your farm products as close to the end user as possible.
Food buyers—buy your food as close to the source as possible. How can this be done easily? Online marketplaces like 2BuyAg connect you directly and easily to farmers or food buyers.
Grocery buying is moving online. Mindfully choose to do your food buying in a marketplace the allows you to buy directly from a farmer or sell directly to a food buyer instead of adding the grocery store distribution and marketing layers. Layers add costs, increase waste, and reduce transparency.
Join the 2BuyAg marketplace today and be a positive impact on the farmer’s share!