Commissioner Hugh Weathers: Thanksgiving and Supporting Local Economies

Thanksgiving is this week. Aside from eating turkey, watching football, and spending time with family and friends, Thanksgiving has a lot of impact on the economy, both in SC and nationally. Commissioner Weathers is here to talk turkey, shopping locally, and the economic impact and cost of the holiday.

AFB Survey —

  • Every year the American Farm Bureau conducts a survey of Thanksgiving dinner food and prices. This year, the typical feast will cost lower than it has in the past eight years.
  • They have volunteer local shoppers go out and price check items you would typically see on a Thanksgiving table for ten people.
  • This year the average cost was $48.90, just shy of $5.00 per person and 22 cents cheaper than last year’s Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Some of the highlights that showed the greatest difference:
    • 16 lb. turkey ($21.71), the lowest since 2014
    • Milk
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Green peas
    • Rolls

In South Carolina–

  • Turkeys are the #2 commodity in SC and along with chickens represent 40% of all the agriculture in the state valued at $1.7 billion annually.
  • Another way to support buying local is by looking for the Certified South Carolina logos in South Carolina grocery stores and making it a priority to buy those products.
  • Also, when dining out for the holidays go to restaurants that participate in our “Fresh on the Menu” program. These restaurants source a minimum of 25 percent of their menu from South Carolina

Country Christmas Reminder—

  • And once you recover from your holiday meal, this Sunday, November 25, Country Christmas is happening at the SC State Farmers Market in West Columbia. This is a perfect time to start the Christmas cheer with your family
  • The event is 1-5 PM and there will be Christmas trees for sale, Christmas craft stations for children, festive music and holiday treats.
  • I even heard Santa may make an appearance!


  • While you’re enjoying your Thanksgiving turkey this year, I hope you’ll take a moment to give thanks for our South Carolina farmers who grow safe, nutritious and affordable food for families across the country and the world.
  • And I hope you’re eating some Certified SC collards and candied yams along with that turkey too
  • Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at the South Carolina Department of Agriculture.