WASHINGTON, D.C. — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is reminding 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.
Vilsack recently spoke to thousands of American farmers and ranchers in Nashville, Tenn. The Census of Agriculture, said Vilsack, 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,” said Vilsack. “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. All farmers and ranchers should have received a Census form in the mail by early January. Completed forms are due by Feb. 4. Farmers can return their forms by mail or online by visiting a secure website, www.agcensus.usda.gov. Federal law requires all agricultural producers to participate in the Census and requires NASS to keep all individual information confidential.