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2012 Census of Agriculture deadline approaching

Published on 10 May 2013

The USDA is urging farmers and ranchers across the country to submit their 2012 Census of Agriculture before the May 31 deadline. Completing the Census will allow the USDA to obtain a more accurate picture of the agriculture industry in America and help determine the future of farming.

“The Census of Agriculture is a vital tool in providing cattle producers with certainty and ensuring agricultural sustainability,” said National Cattlemen’s Beef Association vice president of government affairs Colin Woodall.

“The majority of decisions made by the USDA affects farmers and ranchers, so it’s important that our voices are heard. The census helps provide a clear picture of the agricultural needs of the nation.”

Conducted every five years, the census collects detailed data on land use and ownership, production practices, expenditures and other factors that affect the way farmers do business. This information is used by everyone who provides services to farmers and rural communities including federal, state and local governments, agribusinesses and many others.

Past census results have led to program and policy changes at the USDA, including developing programs geared toward helping young farmers and ranchers start their operations and remain successful.

Other changes include looking at where and how to provide expanded Internet services to areas in rural America with limited access and obtaining an accurate picture of how many large and small farms are currently in operation and what their needs may be.

“NCBA encourages all cattlemen and women to fill out and return their census forms,” said Woodall. “It’s important that the government be in touch with issues affecting rural America, and the census is one of the ways to help us achieve that.”

Farmers and ranchers can return their ag census forms via the secure form online or return the forms by mail. Federal law requires a response from everyone who receives the Census form and requires NASS to keep all individual information confidential.  end mark

From National Cattleman's Beef Association newsletter