The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is collecting responses to its 2022 Census of Agriculture. The survey allows farmers to share their perspectives and help shape opportunities to serve current and future producers in the country.
“The 2022 Census of Agriculture is a powerful voice for American agriculture. The information gathered through the ag census influences policy decisions that will have a tremendous impact on ag producers and their communities for years to come,” says U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.
Farm operations of all sizes that produced and sold agricultural products valued at US$1,000 are eligible to participate in the census. Farmers and ranchers have the opportunity to respond to the census by mail or online at any time until February 6, 2023. The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will release the findings of the census in early 2024.
This year’s questionnaire includes new questions around precision agriculture, hemp production, and internet access.
Conducted every five years by the NASS, the survey provides perspective on the state of the nation’s agriculture system today. A range of stakeholders use the data, including farmers hoping to make decisions around the future of their operations, legislators developing farm policies and programs, and organizations providing services to rural residents.
“Census data is used to inform policy decisions and shape the future of America’s agriculture,” NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer tells Food Tank, “and we want to hear from you—the farmers and producers—to ensure it reflects your voice for the future.”
The USDA is also encouraging the public to reach out with stories that highlight the ways that the census data has benefited them and their work.
“I strongly encourage all farmers, no matter how large or small their operation, to promptly complete and return their ag census,” Vilsack says. “This is your opportunity to share your voice, uplift the value and showcase the uniqueness of American agriculture.”
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Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture