Does most of the money I pay for food go back to the farmer?

Not necessarily. According to the USDA Economic Research Service, off-farm costs such as marketing, processing, wholesaling, distributing and retailing food products accounted for 85 cents of every retail dollar spent on food in 2019. That leaves an average of only 15 cents returning to farmers and ranchers. Over the years, this number has been on the decline. In 1980, farmers received 31 cents out of every retail dollar spent on food in the United States. And, while this number continues to decline, the farmers’ expenses to produce food for our country continues to rise.

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