Be counted in the 2017 Census of Agriculture! It’s Not Too Late.
It’s not too late to be counted in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Every five years, the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) conducts the Census of Agriculture. Questionnaires were mailed to all known farmers in beginning in December 2017. NASS is following up with those that have not returned their questionnaires but farmers can still complete their questionnaires and return them by mail or complete their questionnaires on-line with NASS’s new web response tool. Reporting on-line saves time, is user-friendly, calculates totals automatically, and skips questions not applicable to your operation.
“It’s important for all farmers to be counted” according to Gary Keough, NASS State Statistician for the New England States. “NASS will begin following up with those that have not completed their The Census of Agriculture is the only source of uniform, comprehensive and impartial agricultural data for every county in the nation. It’s a complete count of U.S. farms and the people who operate them. From small plots of urban and rural land to large farms with thousands of acres, the Census counts them all plus looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, and income and expenditures.” For Census of Agriculture purposes, a farm 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.
Why is data like this good to have?
- Farmers have an opportunity to decide if they’d like to expand or diversify their operations to fill a gap that may show in the trends.
- The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry uses the data to administer State programs.
- Organizations like the Maine Farm Bureau and Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association uses the data to educate legislators, local officials, and consumers about the importance of Maine agriculture to the State’s and local community’s economies.
- Universities like the University of Maine can identify a need in the county/state, build programs and workshops for farmers to learn about best practices and strategies, and possibly write grant proposals to benefit farmers looking to diversify and grow their operations.
- Agribusinesses have insight to where particular farm machinery or processing facilities are needed to address farmers’ needs.
If you didn’t receive a questionnaire please contact Gary Keough at 603.227.3129 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.