June 30 deadline for new farmers to sign up for 2017 Census of Agriculture

New farmers and ranchers, and those not previously contacted by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, have until the end of June to ensure they are represented in this year’s Census of Agriculture.

virginiaTo receive a census questionnaire this December, these producers are asked to visit the Census of Agriculture website atwww.agcensus.usda.gov and click on the “Make Sure You Are Counted” button today.  

While on the website, producers can watch the census introduction video, access frequently asked questions, explore past and current data and try the improved online census questionnaire demo. The updated online questionnaire, which will go live late fall, is now accessible on any electronic device. New features save time by calculating totals automatically and skipping questions that do not pertain to the respondent’s operation.

“Responding to the census has never been easier. It is our hope that producers will become familiar with the online census questionnaire demo, like it and return to report online when responding to the Census of Agriculture later this year,” said NASS Census and Survey Division Director Barbara Rater.   

Producers who are uncertain whether they classify as a farm should note that the census definition is any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the census year (2017).

“The definition includes millions of farmers, ranchers and producers – rural and urban – and it is vital that all are represented in this complete count endeavor every five years.  Their voices show the nation the value and importance of agriculture, and help influence decisions that will shape the future of American agriculture for years to come,” said Rater.  

At 177 years old, the Census of Agriculture tells the story of U.S. agriculture. “It provides the only source of uniform, comprehensive and impartial agricultural data for every county in the nation, not just Virginia counties,” said Dr. Megan Seibel, Virginia Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry. “The data are valuable to those who serve farmers and rural communities, including federal, state and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations, Cooperative Extension Service educators and researchers, as well as the farmers themselves.”

Census results help shape farm programs and boost services for communities and the industry. “The Census of Agriculture is a farmer’s voice, future and opportunity,” Seibel added, “and we encourage every Virginia farmer to participate.”

For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov or call 800.727.9540.

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