USDA is preparing to mail the 2012 Census of Agriculture to millions of U.S. farmers and ranchers in late December. Producers are reminded not to miss their opportunity to be counted by signing up for the census before July 1. The Census of Agriculture is a complete count of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. A farm is defined as any place that produced and sold, or normally would have sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural products during the census year (2012).
“The census is the leading source of facts about American agriculture,” said Renee Picanso, Census and Survey Division Director at USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. “The wealth of data available from the census includes statistics on small, family farms to large, corporate farms; information on young, beginning farmers to older, experienced farmers; and insight into traditional, rural farming versus trends in areas such as lifestyle and urban farming.”
The sign-up period for the 2012 Census of Agriculture ends in a few weeks and is especially important for those individuals involved in agriculture who did not realize they qualify as a farm or have not previously participated in a census. All farmers and ranchers are reminded to sign up and be counted.
“The census provides the only source of uniform, comprehensive and impartial agricultural data for every county in the nation,” Picanso said. “Through the census, producers can show the nation the value and importance of agriculture, and they can help influence the decisions that will shape the future of American agriculture for years to come. By signing up and then responding to the census, producers are helping themselves, their communities and all of U.S. agriculture.”
To learn more and sign up for the Census of Agriculture, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov. All individual information will be kept confidential guaranteed by law (Title 7, U.S. Code, and CIPSEA, Public Law 107-347).