Farm Bureau talks turkey with Snider Farms of Hart.

November 21, 2017

The Snider Farms Team. Photo courtesy of

Farm bureau talks turkey with Snider Farms of Hart.


HART — The American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) recently released its 32nd annual price survey for Thanksgiving dinner and spoke with Beth Snider of Snider Farms in Hart to gain more insight about the holiday bird.

Snider, a Michigan Turkey Producers member, says the family farm members of the Grand Rapids-based processing cooperative, consider it a privilege to raise turkey for families in Michigan and perhaps their extended families across the country.

“Our family and dedicated team at Snider Farms, along with all the families that make up Michigan Turkey Producers, make it our goal every day of the year to offer our valued customers only the highest quality, best tasting turkey.” Snider said. “We all take great pride raising and growing a bounty of fresh, second-to-none, food choices and realize there is no higher compliment than knowing our hard work will be on tables everywhere in Michigan, both for everyday meals and special family holiday celebrations.”

The AFBF’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, marking the second consecutive year that the overall cost of Thanksgiving dinner has declined.

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, according to Michigan Farm Bureau Livestock Dairy Specialist, Ernie Birchmeier.

“The cost of the dinner is the lowest since 2013 and second-lowest since 2011,” Birchmeier said. “American consumers hopefully recognize and are thankful that even as family farmers continue to face economic challenges, they remain committed to providing a safe, abundant and affordable food supply for consumers at Thanksgiving and throughout the year.”

According to the Michigan Ag Council, Michigan ranks 15th in the nation in turkey production and comprises 3 percent of the turkey industry by volume. And, according to Michigan Allied Poultry Industries, total annual turkey production in Michigan is 6 million birds, with an economic impact to the state totaling $100 million.

The shopping list for Farm Bureau’s informal survey includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and coffee and milk, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10 with plenty for leftovers.

Consumers continue to see lower retail turkey prices due to continued large inventory in cold storage, which is up almost double digits from last year, Newton explained.

Foods showing the largest decreases this year in addition to turkey, were a gallon of milk, $2.99; a dozen rolls, $2.26; two nine-inch pie shells, $2.45; a 3-pound bag of sweet potatoes, $3.52; a 1-pound bag of green peas, $1.53; and a group of miscellaneous items including coffee and ingredients necessary to prepare the meal (butter, evaporated milk, onions, eggs, sugar and flour), $2.72.

“Milk production has increased, resulting in continued low retail prices,” Birchmeier explained. “In addition, grocers often use milk as a loss leader to entice consumers to shop at their stores.”

Items that increased modestly in price were: a half-pint of whipping cream, $2.08; a 14-ounce package of cubed bread stuffing, $2.81; a 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix, $3.21; a 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries, $2.43; and a 1-pound veggie tray, $.74.

A total of 141 volunteer shoppers checked prices at grocery stores in 39 states for this year’s survey. Farm Bureau volunteer shoppers are asked to look for the best possible prices, without taking advantage of special promotional coupons or purchase deals, such as spending $50 and receiving a free turkey.

Shoppers with an eye for bargains in all areas of the country should be able to purchase individual menu items at prices comparable to the Farm Bureau survey averages. Another option for busy families without a lot of time to cook is ready-to-eat Thanksgiving meals for up to 10 people, with all the trimmings, which are available at many supermarkets and take-out restaurants for around $50-$75.

The AFBF Thanksgiving dinner survey was first conducted in 1986. While Farm Bureau does not make any scientific claims about the data, it is an informal gauge of price trends around the nation. Farm Bureau’s survey menu has remained unchanged since 1986 to allow for consistent price comparisons.

Snider Farms is located at 2530 W. Filmore Rd., in Hart. To learn more about the farm, visit


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