The USDA is in the process of gearing up for their 2017 Census of Agriculture (which will be mailed out to farmers at the end of this year). Farmers have until to sign up with USDA to make sure they are on the list to get either a paper or online Census form. This is especially relevant for new farmers and others who have never filled out a census before. This is also an issue for organic, direct-to-consumer, and other farmers who are typically undercounted in the Ag Census.
Why is the Census important to farmers and those who work with them?
Currently, the census is the only complete count of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. It includes even the smallest plots of land – rural or urban – growing fruits, vegetables, or raising food animals, if $1,000 or more of such products were raised and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the census year. The information produced by the Census of Agriculture guides Congress, agribusiness, policymakers, researchers, local governments and many others on the creation and funding of agricultural programs and services – decisions that can directly impact your local operations and the future of the agriculture industry for years to come.
How farmers can sign up to be counted?
Please note that new farmers or existing farmers who have not participated in a prior Census of Agriculture still have time to sign up to be counted through the end of June at https://www.agcounts.
The survey takes less than a minute – and will ensure that you receive a Census form (that you can fill out in paper form or online.) If a farmer/rancher is not on our list frame by June 30th, the producer will not have an opportunity to participate in the 2017 Census of Agriculture.