It’s that time farmers. The 2017 Census of Agriculture is coming in December. The survey is conducted by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. It has been conducted since 1840 and is a complete count of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. It takes place every five years.
During the NAFB Trade Talk session I visited with Barbara Rater, USDA-NASS, about the new survey. She says there will be new questions that include veteran status, farm decision-making and food marketing practices. There is also a much improved online questionnaire designed to make it easier to fill out. There will also be versions for mobile phone, tablet and desk/laptop computer.
Barbara also talks about the importance of filling out the survey which includes being able to show the country the importance and value of U.S. agriculture. The information will also be useful for influencing decision makers on topics like transportation/marketing locations, farm services, production practices and new technologies and farm policy. I can vouch for the importance of the survey even to those of us in agricultural marketing and ag media. You can watch a message about the Census from our U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, here.
And congratulations to Barbara for becoming a member of the #GoldenMic Club!
Learn more about the new census here: Interview with Barbara Rater, USDA-NASS