WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture is making a push to have the country’s farmers and ranchers tell their stories through data collected in the Census of Agriculture.
The USDA recently called on the nation’s farmers and ranchers – a good many of them grow and raise food here in the Central Valley – to sign up for the 2012 Census of Agriculture.
“Recognizing the central role of agriculture in Americans’ lives, USDA wants to make sure it counts all farmers and ranchers in the upcoming Census,” according to a statement. “USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service conducts the Census of Agriculture every five years and is currently preparing to send the Census form to all agricultural producers in December.”
Renee Picanso, director of NASS’ Census and Survey Division, said, “Census data can help us to better tell the amazing story of American agriculture, but that story will be incomplete if farmers aren’t all counted.”
Federal law requires all agricultural producers to participate in the Census of Agriculture and that NASS keeps all information confidential.
The Census of Agriculture data benefits farmers and communities considerably, and NASS wants producers to share their Census stories in their own words.
NASS launched its “Share Your Census Story” web page at http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Census_Story/, where farmers and ranchers can tell how local, state and national farm services, programs and policies were shaped by Census of Agriculture data. They can also convey that by just answering a few simple questions, the Census data significantly affected their lives, operations and communities.
“Sharing information about how agricultural and rural programs enhance their quality of life will help others understand the importance of Census information and encourage them to sign up and be counted,” said Picanso.