The Census, conducted only once every five years by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), is more than a count of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. It is a look at land use and ownership, production practices, expenditures and other things that affect the way farmers do business in the 21st Century.
Census data is used by all those who serve farmers and rural communities, from federal, state and local governments to agribusinesses and trade associations, like the California Poultry Federation. Companies and cooperatives can use the information to determine the locations of facilities that will serve agricultural producers. Often legislators use the information when shaping farm policies and programs. And, members of the California poultry community can use Census data to help make informed decisions about the future of their own operations.
Data collection for the Census will continue through early June. A second mailing of the Census forms will occur February 14. Producers also have the option to complete their forms online at http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Online_Response. The Census gives farmers and ranchers a chance to have their voices heard.
You can find more information about the Census and make sure you are counted by visiting www.agcensus.usda.gov, or call Vic Tolomeo or Jodi Letterman at 1-800-851-1127 for more information.