Every five years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) conducts the Census of Agriculture which provides detailed data covering land use and ownership, production practices, expenditures and other factors that affect the way farmers do business and succeed in the 21st Century. The 2012 Census of Agriculture has been mailed to millions of farmers and ranchers across the United States.
According to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, “The 2012 Census of Agriculture provides farmers with a powerful voice. The information gathered through the Census influences policy decisions that can have a tremendous impact on farmers and their communities for years to come.” Vilsack strongly encourages all farmers, no matter how large or small their operation, to promptly complete and return their Census, so they can voice to the nation the value and importance of agriculture.
Results from the 2012 Census of Agriculture will play a role in determining future decisions about: farm programs, transportation and marketing locations, telecommunications connectivity, rural economic development, production practices, new agricultural technologies, conservation programs and more.
Completed forms are due by February 4, 2013. Farmers can return their forms by mail or online by visiting a secure website. Federal law requires all agricultural producers to participate in the Census and requires NASS to keep all individual information confidential.