Once again we celebrate the tradition of Thanksgiving this week, and, yes, we have much to be thankful for.  Here in the Coastal Bend, those of us who are involved in the Agricultural Industry began the year with deep soil moisture, and that allowed us to make a respectable crop, despite being caught up the drought of 2011. Other parts of Texas were not so fortunate. 

Now we hope and pray, like the rest of our fellow Texans, that rain will come soon and that the La Nina weather pattern will change so we can begin preparing for the 2012 crop season with some soil moisture.

We are all beneficiaries of living in a country in which the agricultural sector provides the most bountiful, safest, and affordable food supply in the world.  Even though food prices have been rising recently, Americans spend just 9.5 percent of their disposable income on food—less than the consumers of any other country. 

According to the Texas Farm Bureau, Texas chefs preparing for Thanksgiving should be able to feed 10 hungry Texans a traditional holiday meal for about $48.69, according to the special 2011 Thanksgiving Meal Report of Texas Farm Bureau’s (TFB) Grocery Price Watch survey.

The 2011 report shows an increase of $2.17, or 4.66 percent, from the 2010 TFB Thanksgiving Meal Report. The survey records the cost of 10 holiday staples—including turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce—to feed a family of 10 people.

“The price of a traditional Thanksgiving meal has gone up over the years, but it’s still remarkable that you can feed a family of 10 for less than $5 per person,” said TFB President Kenneth Dierschke. “Especially this time of year, we give thanks for the farmers and ranchers who work hard to grow healthy, affordable food for our families.”

It is my hope that during this week you are able to spend quality time with family and friends and reflect on the many things you enjoy in life and be thankful for those.