Sunday, March 16, 2008

Stand Up and Be Counted!

It's not too late to take part in the 2007 Farm Census!

The 2007 Census of Agriculture is the only source of agricultural data broken down for every state and county in the nation. Government organizations, lawmakers, town planners and individual farm operations can use this information to help them plan for future facilities, services and community growth.

The Census form asks questions about the farm or ranch operation, including land in production, production types and values, and producer characteristics. The information given in the Census is confidential and cannot be used for any purpose other than aggregate statistical information. The Census does not ask about citizenship status of the farm operator(s).

Small scale producers, in particular disadvantaged farmers, including minority and immigrant farmers, have historically been undercounted by the Census of Agriculture. This gives the government and the public a poor understanding of their contributions to agriculture. Because many farm programs are implemented based on the number of farmers counted by the Census, it is essential that underrepresented communities get as accurate a census count as possible to gain access to resources and programs targeted to them.

Through the Census, producers can show the nation the value and importance of agriculture and they can help influence decisions that will shape the future of American agriculture for years to come. By responding to the Census, producers are helping themselves, their communities and all of U.S. agriculture.

What to do: If you received a census form but did not complete it, please do so! You can also submit your information online by clicking here. (You will need the survey code printed on your paper copy.) If you did not request or receive a form, call 1-888-424-7828 and someone will help you.

For more information, check out Frequently Asked Questions on the 2007 Census website.

Thanks to Amy Saltzman, of the National Immigrant Farming Initiative and the Rural Coalition for information on this Census.

No comments: