(Posted Wed. May 29th, 2013)
May 29: With the window to respond to the 2012 Census of Agriculture officially closing on May 31, the National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers 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.
“It is imperative that farmers speak up and ensure that they are accurately represented, and the Census of Agriculture provides a unique opportunity for us to do so,” said NCGA President Pam Johnson. “The information compiled this year will impact the agricultural community for half of a decade with the data the Census provides influencing how USDA and the Congress perceive agriculture and thus how rules and regulations are written. I strongly urge every farmer and rancher to act quickly if they have not already done so and play an active role in securing the future of our industry.”
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.
"Agriculture in America is an industry built on tradition, honor and pride," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "We have heard this from the farmers and ranchers who completed their Census of Agriculture form. It's not too late for those who have not yet responded to join the generations of producers who participated in the Agriculture Census since it was first conducted in 1840. Only you can continue to provide the facts straight from the farm."
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. USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service 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.