With the window to respond to the 2012 Census of Agriculture officially closing on May 31, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is urging farmers and ranchers not to miss this opportunity to be counted and help determine the future of farming in America. USDA has already received more than 2 million completed Census forms.
"Our nation needs your help to ensure that decisions about U.S. agriculture accurately represent you, your communities, and your industry," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
The Census of Agriculture, conducted only once every five years, is the only source of consistent and comprehensive agricultural data for every state and county in the nation. It looks at farms, value of land, market value of agricultural production, farm practices, expenditures, and other factors that affect the way farmers and ranchers do business. The information is used by agribusinesses, town planners, local governments, and policy makers, as well as farmers, ranchers, growers and others to shape farm programs, boost rural services and grow the future of farming.
The 2012 Census will provide a complete picture of agriculture that will be used to shape the future of agriculture, rural America, and the lives of those USDA serves for years to come. The deadline to respond to the Census of Agriculture is only a few weeks away on May 31. USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) may contact producers by phone or in person to collect Census information since time is running out.
Farmers and ranchers can also return their forms by mail or online by visiting a secure website, www.agcensus.usda.gov. Federal law requires a response from everyone who receives the Census form and requires NASS to keep all individual information confidential.
For more information about the Census, including helpful tips on completing your Census form, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov or call 1-888-4AG-STAT (1-888-424-7828). The Census of Agriculture is your voice, your future, your responsibility.