HURON, S.D. – With grocery prices soaring, doesn’t it make sense that farmers and ranchers would also see an increase in profits? This just isn’t the case, explained Union Center rancher, Dallis Basel.
“We go grocery shopping just like everyone else,” said Basel, who raises sheep and cattle together with his wife, Tammy. “Even though prices are up in the grocery store, we do not earn much more than break even on cattle and right now, the sheep markets have bottomed out, so we are going backward when we sell market lambs.”
Basel said he appreciates South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) hosting its annual Farmers Share Lunch during the South Dakota State Fair, because feeding more than 1,000 fairgoers lunch for the price a farmer receives for the meal’s ingredients helps connect consumers to the truth.
“Big conglomerate food processors and the packers are making exorbitant profits – not family farmers and ranchers,” explained Basel, who serves on the state board for SDFU.
Valued at $13, fairgoers purchased the lunch for only 35 cents. Fairgoer Christi Lunders, Huron, said she was happy that this lunch helps explain to consumers how little farmers and ranchers receive for the crops and livestock they raise.
“I think everyone should know how little they earn for the work that they do. I grew up in a rural community, so I understand how little farmers and ranchers earn. It did surprise me that for a $13, meal they only earn 35 cents, I was hoping they earned more,” Lunders said.
A day to celebrate family farmers & ranchers
The Farmers Share Lunch is just one of many events hosted during Farmers Union Day at the South Dakota State Fair.
“State Fair is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the families who raise the crops and livestock that make up our state’s number one industry,” explained Doug Sombke, SDFU President and fourth-generation Conde farmer.
A premier sponsor of the State Fair, SDFU recognized rural volunteers from across the state with the Rural Dakota Pride Award: Dan & Corinne Overweg, Kimball; Dale Swenson, Woonsocket; Judy Roemich, Piedmont and Mary Jacobs, Huron.
“Rural communities depend on willing volunteers to help care for those less fortunate and keep their rich traditions alive,” said Karla Hofhenke, SDFU Executive Director.
Learn how these volunteers give back by visiting www.sdfufoundation.org.
Strengthening South Dakota’s Beef Industry
During Farmers Union Day at the State Fair, SDFU hosted a panel discussion focused on strengthening South Dakota’s Beef Industry.
Panelists include Doug Sombke, SDFU President; Megan R. Kingsbury, Kingsbury & Associates – President/CEO and founder of the proposed Rapid City beef and bison packing plant; Dale Bednarek, CEO, Farmers Union Industries and James Halverson, Executive Director South Dakota Stockgrowers.
To learn more about how South Dakota Farmers Union supports farm and ranch families and their rural communities, visit www.sdfu.org.