A Publication of WTVP

Breakfast for 40 cents. That's right, for only a quarter, a dime, and a nickel, you can enjoy a delicious, hearty breakfast March 19, served by Peoria County farmers. The breakfast is served from 7 to 11 a.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, located at the corner of Radnor and Willow Knolls Road in Peoria. This is the fifth year the Peoria County Farm Bureau has sponsored this event. It kicks off National Agriculture Week-March 20 to 26-and showcases the world of agriculture to consumers.

Why only 40 cents? The cost to consumers is the "farm" value of the breakfast. What will be served? Pancakes, eggs, whole hog sausage, milk, and orange juice.

The "farm" value is the value of the raw products coming off the farm. It's the dollars received by the farmer for the milk Prairie Farms picks up or the market value of the hogs auctioned at the sale barn. It's also the value of the wheat in the pancakes and the corn in the syrup.

So how is the actual farm value calculated? Let's take pancakes for example. One bushel of wheat weighs 60 pounds. A processor will be able to mill 45 pounds of flour from that 60-pound bushel of wheat. Each pancake contains approximately three-and-a-half ounces of flour. Crunching the numbers, you'll find 45 pounds of wheat flour produces 206 pancakes.

Now, for the other side of the equation: farmers harvest wheat in the beginning of July. Farmers who stored their wheat and sold it to the country elevator last month received $2.95 per bushel. Two dollars and ninety-five cents divided by 206 pancakes equals approximately one-and-a-half cents. So each pancake you'll be served March 19 will have approximately one-and-a-half pennies of wheat in it.

Another item on the menu is whole hog sausage. A hog is ready for market when it weighs 250 pounds. Seventy-five percent of the hog can be processed into meat. Seventy-five percent of 250 calculates to 187.5 pounds. Each whole hog sausage patty you'll be served weighs two ounces, so one hog ready for market yields 1,500 two-ounce sausage patties. The market price farmers received for a 250-pound hog a couple of weeks ago was $48 per 100 pounds, or a total of $120. One hundred twenty dollars divided by 1,500 equals 8 cents. So the income the farmer receives for that two-ounce sausage patty is 8 cents.

The sausage served at the breakfast will be farm fresh. A family farm in Peoria County is supplying the hogs. Keep in mind it'll also be whole hog sausage, which means the premium cuts-such as the loins and ham-are included in the sausage.

Customers at the breakfast will have the opportunity to learn about agriculture in a variety of ways. A pamphlet will be handed out with the breakdown of the farm value of each of the menu items. Children can pick up an ABC's of Agriculture coloring book and crayons made from soybeans. Peoria County farm photos will be displayed, along with full colored Ag Mags, which will further enhance your knowledge about local agriculture. You can also see industrial products made from our local farm commodities such as clean burning Beanpod Candles made from soybeans and environmentally friendly Glass Cleaner made from corn.

Peoria County farmers hope to see you March 19. Bring a big appetite and a little pocket change. IBI