Perspective: Food Cost vs Production

Food costs are rising. No doubt about that. Have you been to the meat, dairy, or vegetable aisle lately? And you thought that pain at the pump was the only hitch in your giddy-up these days… Food costs may be rising, but what about the cost to produce that food?

Here is a little perspective for ya. Yesterday I went down to the service station to fill my 100 gallon gas tank. From this tank we fuel things like 4 wheelers (on which I check cattle everyday), lawn mowers, chainsaws, and even our feed wagons. The price of gas today is $3.699 a gallon. 370 bucks for that one stop! That’s like leaving half of a weaned calf sitting at the gas pump.

That doesn’t count our 1,000 gallon diesel fuel tanks. With diesel at an easy $4.009 a gallon, that’s 4,000 bucks a fill. If we’re still counting weaned calves, that’s 6 calves left at the fuel tank! If you want to start counting land, equipment, barn, vehicle, loan payments, taxes, depriciation, etc… Well, there goes our whole calf crop. Can’t forget our monthly living expenses; electric, water, groceries, and even those heavy boots for long days on our feet. Yep, my wallet is feeling the pinch just like every consumer out there.

Maybe you’ll appreciate this perspective on food prices from a situation in my ranch life. Take a minute to think about all the hard work that goes into producing the cattle that turn into beef. Not only do food producers pay the same for cost of living, but they make that living, so we can eat. Thank a farmer for converting grass and grain to a usable form of nutritious protien, vegetable, and grain on your table tonight.

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