HURON, S.D. (KELO) — More than 1,000 South Dakota State Fair attendees are being treated to a 42-cent lunch on Saturday, September 2nd.

Why is such an inexpensive lunch offered at the price of 42 cents? That is the price family farmers and ranchers make in income for the food ingredients it takes to provide a lunch for consumers.

The price consumers pay for a steak at the grocery store is considerably less than the farmer or rancher receives. In 2023, for every steak sold at the store for $9.99, the farmer or rancher gets paid $2.64. This year crop and cattle markets are up, yet the middleman continues to reap most of the profits.

To raise awareness of this fact, the South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) is providing this nearly free lunch to fair-goers. Educating consumers on facts is a large focus of the SDFU at the fair and through other promotions year-round.

“The Farmers Share Lunch is a longstanding tradition for the state’s largest agriculture organization and premiere sponsor of the South Dakota State Fair. Agriculture is South Dakota’s number one industry and economic driver. This Farmers Share Lunch is one way to help educate all South Dakotans on the economics of raising crops and livestock. We see it as a way to boost support for the South Dakota families doing the work.” said Karla Hofhenke, SDFU Executive Director.

SDFU also hosts a Farm Safety Quiz Bowl to promote safety through education being farming and ranching is a dangerous profession.

“I have seen many farm and ranch families go through loss or injury due to accidents. It’s devastating. This quiz bowl is one of several ways our organization works to promote safety through education,” said Doug Sombke, SDFU President. “

Another facet of this event is SDFU’s Landowner Rights Forum they are hosting. Landowner rights have been the focus of attention this year as a private corporation started threatening to use eminent domain to take over owner’s land to install its’ pipeline.

“Landowner rights have been part of our organization’s policy since the beginning because for farmers and ranchers, our land is much more than our livelihood – it is our legacy,” Sombke explained.

View the article about the SDFU Landowner Rights Forum the week of September 4th.