In just a few months, America’s farmers and ranchers will have the opportunity to strongly represent agriculture in their communities and industry by taking part in the 2017 Census of Ag. This National Ag Day, we are sharing the three things you can do now to help us in this tremendous endeavor.
Only conducted every five years by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the census captures a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches, and those who operate them. Even small plots of land – whether rural or urban – growing fruit, vegetables or some food animals count if $1,000 or more of such products were raised and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the census year.
The census helps tell the whole story of U.S. agriculture. The last Census of Agriculture counted more than 2 million farms and ranches in the U.S. spanning over 914 million acres. Without the Census of Agriculture, we would not know that 3.2 million farmers in the United States – only one percent of our total population – provide food, fuel, and fiber to the nation and others around the world.
The Census of Agriculture remains the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every county in the nation. Census results are valuable to those who serve farmers and rural communities, including federal, state and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations, extension educators, researchers, and farmers and ranchers themselves. Answers to the census can help grow a farm’s future, shape farm programs, and boost services for communities and the industry.
Today, National Ag Day, and in the months to follow, we ask you to do three things: 1. Find out more about the Census of Agriculture by visiting www.agcensus.usda.gov; 2. Sign up to be counted in the Census of Agriculture, if you are involved with agriculture and have never participated in the Census before, and 3. Help spread the word so we can get a complete picture of U.S. agriculture. Become a Census of Agriculture Partner!
Producers will receive their Census of Agriculture questionnaires this December. They will have the option to complete their form and return it by mail or use the Online Response to Census of Agriculture. Improved this year, the online census form is convenient, dynamic and user-friendly. It is accessible on any electronic device, calculates totals automatically, and skips questions that do not pertain to the operation.
Remember, the Census of Agriculture is Your Voice, Your Future, Your Opportunity.