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USDA Sends National Agricultural Classification Survey Ahead of 2017 Census of Agriculture

In preparation for the 2017 Census of Agriculture, close to 1 million potential farmers and ranchers will receive the National Agricultural Classification Survey (NACS) this month to help the U.S. Department of Agriculture identify all active farms and ranches in the United States. The result of the NACS will determine who receives a census of agriculture questionnaire in December 2017.

The census of agriculture, conducted every five years by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), is the only source of uniform, comprehensive and impartial agricultural data for every county in the nation. Through the census of agriculture, producers are able to demonstrate the value and importance of agriculture, and influence decisions that will shape the future of the industry in this country.

“NACS plays an integral role in getting a complete count of U.S. agriculture,” said NASS Census and Survey Division Director Barbara Rater. “We ask everyone who receives the survey to please respond by Jan. 30, so that we can maintain an accurate and comprehensive census of agriculture mailing list. This is an important opportunity. The census of agriculture is the leading source of facts about American agriculture. Farm organizations, businesses, government decision-makers, commodity market analysts, news media, researchers and so many others use census of agriculture data. We are ensuring that every farm and ranch has a voice.”

The census of agriculture defines a farm as any place, big or small, that produces and sells, or could sell, $1,000 or more of agriculture products within a calendar year. NACS is required by law as part of the census of agriculture. By this same law, all information reported by individuals is protected.

NASS will begin data collection for the 2017 Census of Agriculture in late 2017. The census of agriculture is Your Voice, Your Future, Your Opportunity. For more information about NACS and the 2017 Census of Agriculture, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov.

Online extra: Census FAQ

Lynn Snyder 

Lynn Snyder is senior director of communications for Ohio Farm Bureau.