It only happens once every five years, and that's the Census of Agriculture. Forms are being sent out today via US Mail to all agricultural operations with gross receipts of $1,000 or more per year. NC Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler encourages all farmers to take part in the census. This is the only source of uniform, comprehensive agricultural data for every county in North Carolina. It's a chance for farmers to speak up and have some influence on decisions that shape their farms, communities and the industry.
Troxler goes on to explain that this information is used by everyone who serves farmers and rural communities, from federal, state and local governments to agribusiness and trade associations. Legislators use the data when shaping farm policy, and agribusiness companies factor it into their planning efforts.
There are three ways to return the census this year; US Mail, electronically, or hand-delivered to your local FSA office.
For more information on the census, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov
“I can’t say enough how important this census is. It is really the only way that we get a complete picture of all of the US farms and the people who operate them. I encourage every farmer in NC to take part in this census; it’s the only source of uniform, comprehensive agricultural data for every county in NC. It’s a chance for farmers to speak up and have some influence on how the industry and their farm community is shaped.
Some of the topics that the census covers are land use, ownership, operator characteristics, production practices and income and expenditures.
Even legislators make decisions on shaping farm policy based on the data that comes out of the census, and even the agribusiness companies look at it and factor it into their plans for the future. It’s what drives agriculture for five years.
This helps tell the story of agriculture’s importance to the state and the economy, and we can’t stress enough to our policy makers: when there is only 2% of us out here on the farms that are producing this huge amount of product that is instrumental to the success of this country and NC.
The census forms are going into the mail today. Farmers will receive them soon. They have to be competed by Feb. 4th. There are several different ways to complete them, one is the website: www.agcensus.usda.gov they can also fill it out by mail or hand deliver it to the local FSA office.
Federal law does require all famers to participate in this census and it does require the USDA to keep all information confidential.
Finally I would like to wish all of NC a very happy holiday and hope that they enjoy a lot of great NC produce over the Christmas season.”