Department of Agriculture & Markets

    

Joe Morrissey, 518-457-0752
Joe.Morrissey@agriculture.ny.gov

April 24, 2013

Commissioner Aubertine to Farmers: Itís Not Too Late to Fill Out the U.S. Census of Agriculture

Census Helps Farmers Make Informed Decisions about their Own Operations and Supplies Policymakers with Information to Help Shape the Future of Agriculture

State Agriculture Commissioner Darrel J. Aubertine today encouraged farmers across the state to fill out the U.S. Census of Agriculture.  Currently, the New York State response rate stands at 68 percent.  USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has mailed a final copy to those producers who have not yet responded.  They will be making follow up phone calls and site visits in the coming weeks and months to ensure as accurate a count as possible.

“As a policymaker, I rely on data from the U.S. Census of Agriculture to help me make the best possible decisions on behalf of New York agriculture,” said Commissioner Aubertine.  “It’s extremely important that the most accurate and up-to-date information is available to other policymakers as well.  That’s why I encourage all New York farmers to make sure their voices are heard with this Census.   When New York agriculture shows its ‘strength in numbers,’ we can accomplish a great deal.”

The U.S. Census of Agriculture is very similar to the U.S. Census, except it is done every five years instead of every ten.  According to NASS, it is the only source of consistent and comprehensive agricultural data for every state and county in the nation.  The Agriculture Census examines farms, land value, agricultural production, farm practices, expenditures, demographic data, marketing information and other factors that affect the way farmers conduct their business.  These data, in turn, are used at the federal, state and local levels to influence agricultural policy. 

“By completing and returning their Census questionnaire, producers provide an opportunity to help shape farm programs, boost rural services, and grow their farm future,” said Blair Smith, State Statistician of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, New York Field Office.

“During this final push to be counted, New York Farm Bureau encourages farmers to take part in the Agriculture Census.  It is important to have an accurate picture of the diversity of farming in this state. In addition, it will assist New York to secure the appropriate funding and programs that will help grow New York agriculture,” said Dean Norton, President of New York Farm Bureau.

New York Farm Bureau has produced a video outlining the importance of the Census of Agriculture, which can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir5uKpUS6mY&nofeather=True

New York farmers can return their Census of Agriculture forms online at www.agcensus.usda.gov.  For tips on how to complete the Census, call 1-888-424-7828.

To look at the most recent Census of Agriculture, please visit www.agcensus.usda.gov.

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