2012-12-27 / Community

Farmers asked to take part in 2012 census

WASHINGTON – The 2012 Census of Agriculture, which provides agricultural data for every state and county in the nation, is currently being mailed to millions of farmers and ranchers across the United States.

Conducted every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, the Census provides detailed data covering nearly every facet of U.S. agriculture. It looks at 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 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,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “I strongly encourage 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.”

“The Census is the only source of comprehensive agricultural data highlighting the impact agriculture has on every county in Michigan,” said Jamie Clover Adams, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development director.

Vilsack added that in addition to affecting policy decisions, Census information also influences community growth and development. Census data are integral in allocating Federal resources to the State and local communities. For example, Census of Agriculture data are used to allocate Specialty Crop Block Grant program dollars to the State level. Michigan receives over $1.3 million annually from this program in support of specialty crop initiatives, research, and extension.

All farmers and ranchers should receive a Census form in the mail by early January. Completed forms are due by Feb. 4.

For more information about the Census, visit www.agcensus.usda. gov or contact (800) 453-7501.

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