Thanksgiving 2008

November 26, 2008

November 26, 2008

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the Renewable Fuels Association, Wal-Mart Stores, Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today's commentary--

I know we have severe economic problems. We are still at war. We can't discount the challenges that we face.

However, this was Thanksgiving Week. In spite of our problems, we have a lot to be thankful for. If we think this is tough, compare these times to the Pilgrims that settled the U.S.A. when the first Thanksgiving took place. This Thanksgiving, families across this country were able to put on the table a classic Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie, and all the trimmings for less than $4.50 per person. A family dinner for 10 for $44.61. That is only a little more expensive than last year at $42.26. These food cost numbers come from the American Farm Bureau that has been tracking this for years.

The abundance produced and efficiency of delivery of food here in our country is the envy of the world. It takes the average American family only 40 days to earn enough to pay for a year's supply of food. Farmers in other countries cannot come close to matching that. It takes about half a year of work in India to feed a family.

Farming in the U.S. is a family business. Yes -- 98% of farms are family operations Only about 2% of America's farms and ranches are owned by non-family corporations. When our big city papers write about big corporations owning the Ag industry, that just shows how uninformed they are.

We are feeding our own citizens and exporting more than 25% of what we produce. 17% of the

U.S. workforce is working somewhere in the food chain. That's a lot of jobs.

Tough times may be beating on our door. But we still can thank the American farmer and rancher and the whole food team -- including John Deere, Monsanto, Dekalb, and Wal-Mart -- on this Thanksgiving week.

Until next week, I am John Block from Washington.