The Cost of Thanksgiving Dinner 2017

The Cost of Thanksgiving Dinner

The Cost of Thanksgiving Dinner 2017

As we all know, American Farmers aren’t always well compensated for their work. For a number of reasons – political, social, and environmental, the full cost of farming is not borne out in the market price for food. Continuing that great tradition, we bring you the cost of a 2017 Thanksgiving dinner (see below) – down this year. The simple reason is low grain prices causing the cost of Turkey to plunge. The more complex reason is a Farm Bill that doesn’t promote compensation for the true cost of food production, and farm policies that reward the production of negative environmental externalities.

As we enter a new Farm Bill cycle, please try to learn more about the process, and consider getting involved in farm bill activism. A great place to start learning more, is on the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) website: You can learn about their campaigns, the issues they are working on, and the process by which they work on this page: While you are there you can also sign up to get their electronic newsletter with weekly updates about what is going on with sustainable agriculture and the farm bill activism process. 

And a great way to get active on the local level is to join one of the grassroots organizations that belong to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. You can find a list and a clickable map of local organizations here

There are many other organizations working on Farm Bill issues, including the National Young Farmers Coalition. But most of the organizations with a sustainable agriculture/small farms/beginning farmer focus (including the National Young Farmers Coalition are also members of NSAC.

You can also find out more about action you can take to support a recently introduced Bill promoting beginning farmers at And you can learn more about Farm Bill policy and agricultural politics at

Below you will find a video and information from the Farm Bureau about the the cost of Thanksgiving dinner this year. 

Eat well, be grateful, and have a terrific holiday!


American Farm Bureau Federation’s 32nd annual price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of this year’s feast for 10 is $49.12, a 75-cent decrease from last year’s average of $49.87.

The big ticket item – a 16-pound turkey – came in at a total of $22.38 this year. That’s roughly $1.40 per pound, a decrease of 2 cents per pound, or a total of 36 cents per whole turkey, compared to 2016.

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