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Wisconsin cookout prices are less than $6 a person



Fire up the grill!

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau says the average cost of a summer cookout is less than $6 a person. Director of Communications Sarah Hetke said cookouts can also curb an increasing hunger among consumers for local foods.

“If you really are interested in purchasing local, of course, you can go to a local farmers market or buy directly from a farmer, but you can also go to the grocery store and look at where that food came from,” Hetke said. “Many times if you are looking at a cheese for instance, it might say where the creamery was located it was made from or you can look for that Something Special from Wisconsin label.”

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau collected prices samples for 14 food items in 28 communities across Wisconsin this June. They determined a cookout for 10 would cost about $56.47.

Hetke said consumers have seen fairly steady food prices, but they have gradually increased during the last three decades. Meanwhile, the share farmer’s receive has dropped. Hetke said, since the 1970s, farmers received one-third of the share. Now, they get less than 15 percent.

“So if we look at the total of this market basket survey, we came in at $56.47, so if we calculate the farmer’s share of that, it’s just $8.24, and that’s before taking out any of the expenses that they would have,” Hetke said.

Hetke added that they did see an increase in beef prices with more demand for hamburger and steaks in the summer. A high supply of pork is helping those prices drop in the store.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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