Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack this week continued to remind producers to complete forms for the Census of Agriculture – the only source of uniform, comprehensive and impartial agricultural data for every county in the nation.
The 2012 Census of Agriculture will provide the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with current information to help ensure an abundant, safe and accessible food supply for all of America. On Monday, Vilsack spoke to thousands of American farmers and ranchers in Nashville, TN. The Census of Agriculture, Vilsack says, is one of the most important tools for providing certainty to producers and sustaining the unlimited economic potential of rural America.
“It's important for farmers and ranchers in America today to stand up and be counted by participating in the Census of Agriculture,” Vilsack says. “By participating in this survey, producers help provide a snapshot of the current state of agriculture in our country, which helps policymakers make better decisions about farm safety net programs and policies.”
Currently underway by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the Census collects detailed data covering nearly every facet of U.S. agriculture. It looks at land use and ownership, production practices, expenditures and other factors that affect the way farmers do business and succeed in the 21st Century.
Census information helps USDA monitor trends and understand the needs in agriculture to better align its products and services. Ways the department used Census data in the past include:
All farmers and ranchers should have received a Census form in the mail by early January. Completed forms are due by Feb. 4, 2013. Farmers can return their forms by mail or online by visiting a secure Web site, www.agcensus.usda.gov. Federal law requires all agricultural producers to participate in the Census and requires NASS to keep all individual information confidential.
For more information about the Census, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov or call (888) 424-7828.