SC Commissioner Weathers: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is this week. It’s a holiday with special significance in the ag industry.

Yes, Mike. This is a big holiday for local agriculture. People are eating regional American foods. They’re focusing on American agricultural products like turkey, sweet potatoes, collard greens and cranberries.

Some good news on that front: The American Farm Bureau Federation says the average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner this year is $61.17.

Expensive, yes, but that’s down from $64.05 in 2022.

Despite the dip in cost, a Thanksgiving meal is still 25% higher compared to 2019, before the pandemic.

The main cost reduction this year is because of better turkey prices, per AFBF.

Last year’s Thanksgiving was affected by the highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak that meant fewer turkeys and higher prices. (South Carolina was largely spared from commercial cases, but as we know, the food market is national and global.)

The 2023 winter migration has caused some new outbreaks in recent weeks, from Minnesota to Alabama, but we’re overall in a better situation than last year.

It’s always a good year to choose Certified South Carolina foods for your Thanksgiving table. Keep an eye out for the Certified SC logo at the grocery store or farm stand.

Happy Thanksgiving.