Wednesday, December 19, 2007

2007 Census of Agriculture: Make Your Voice Heard

2007 Census of Agriculture: Make Your Voice Heard

The 2007 Census of Agriculture will be mailed out to every farmer across the US on December 28. The Census, taken every five years, is a complete count of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. The Census looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures and many other areas. For America’s farmers and ranchers, the Census of Agriculture is their voice, their future and their responsibility. Fill out the form online.

The Census of Agriculture is the responsibility of every farmer and rancher, regardless of the size or type of operation. For Census purposes, a farm is any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the Census year. Respondents are guaranteed by law (Title 7, U.S. Code) that their individual information will be kept confidential.

The question that is posed by many farmers is how is the information gathered used? Simple: data is used by all those who serve farmers and rural communities – federal, state and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations and many others. There are a lot of segments of agriculture that there is not much historical data about…for instance the specialty crop industry. This census is a way for producers that sell at farmers’ markets, organic growers, Agritourism businesses and other specialty crops areas to make their voices heard.

Through the Census, producers can show the nation the value and importance of agriculture and they can help influence decisions that will shape the future of American agriculture for years to come. By responding to the Census, producers are helping themselves, their communities and all of U.S. agriculture.

If you don’t receive the Census in the mail next week…please contact USDA – NASS.

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