A Publication of WTVP

Earlier this spring, the Farm Bureau sponsored the 10th annual “Farmers Share of the Food Dollar Breakfast” at Exposition Gardens in Peoria. It was an effort to educate the public on the efficiency of farmers in producing our food. Volunteers of the Farm Bureau, Princeville Lions Club, Dunlap Dynamite 4-H Club and others prepared and served a farm-fresh breakfast that included two eggs, two pancakes, two sausage patties, an eight-ounce glass of orange juice and an eight-ounce glass of milk. What was the cost? This year, customers paid 60 cents.

This price was based on the “farm value” of the menu items. Here is a breakdown of the farm value of each menu item. Wheat is the primary ingredient in pancakes. At the time of the breakfast on March 20th, farmers were being paid $4.88 for a 60-pound bushel of wheat by country grain elevators. That 60-pound bushel can produce 45 pounds of wheat flour. Each pancake takes 3.55 ounces of wheat flour. Letting the fingers fly on the calculator, you will come up with a price of two-and-a-half cents per pancake, or five cents for two pancakes.

Three hogs were purchased from a Peoria County farmer. This year the price of a market-weight pig (250 pounds) was 52 cents per pound, when sold at a local sale barn such as Reel Auction Center along I-74 near Congerville. Two whole hog sausage patties weighing two ounces each were grilled and served at the breakfast. Another round with the calculator shows that the value of each sausage patty figures to be eight cents each or 16 cents for both patties.

After a phone call and discussion with one of the few dairy farmers in Peoria County, it was discovered that their farm was receiving $14 per 100 pounds for milk shipped off the farm. So the price of an eight-ounce glass of milk was seven cents. (Butter is also made from milk, but we included the butter for the pancakes free of charge.)

The eggs off the farm were $1.25 per dozen. No need for a calculator to figure that one. Chickens really help us bypass the middleman. Each egg was valued at 10 ½ cents, or 21 cents for two eggs.

Most people like syrup on their pancakes. Syrup contains high fructose corn syrup, and we figured a four-ounce serving for both pancakes. High fructose corn syrup is made from the starch in a kernel of field corn, and even though it is sweet, it’s not made from sweet corn. Farmers were receiving $3.63 for a bushel of corn in March. We added another penny to the cost.

A Florida farmer was called to figure the price of an eight-ounce glass of orange juice. (Ninety percent of Florida oranges are actually squeezed into orange juice.) He was receiving $1.60 for one pound of orange solids. One gallon of orange juice contains one pound of orange solids, and so the farm value of an eight-ounce glass of orange juice was 10 cents.

Five cents for two pancakes, 16 cents for two sausage patties, 21 cents for two scrambled eggs, one cent for syrup, seven cents for a glass of milk and 10 cents for a glass of orange juice totals 60 cents for breakfast. It was a great time to treat your family and friends to a meal. The phrase “I’m buying” was quite popular that Saturday morning! iBi