Virginia Farmers Encouraged to Participate in the 2012 Census of Agriculture

Matthew J. Lohr, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) is encouraging all Virginia farmers to participate in the 2012 Census of Agriculture. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will mail the census form to millions of U.S. farmers and ranchers nationwide in late December. This includes the people who own and operate Virginia’s 47,000 farms.

The Census of Agriculture, conducted every five years by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), is a complete count of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. The initial survey was sent in February 2012.

“This initial survey asks everyone who receives it to respond even if they are not farming,” said Lohr. “This is how the USDA builds the most accurate and comprehensive mailing list to account for all of U.S. agriculture in the Census.”

The Census is the leading source of facts about American agriculture and the only source of agricultural statistics that is comparable for each county in the nation. Farm organizations, businesses, government decision-makers, commodity market analysts, news media, researchers and others use Census data to make informed decisions.

Commissioner Lohr and other federal and state agricultural leaders are using video Public Service Announcements to remind producers not to miss their opportunity to be counted by signing up for the Census before July 1. The Virginia PSA is available on VDACS’ website.

“Local and national leaders use the Census to make decisions that directly impact your business, your community and your industry,” said Lohr. “Whether you’re farming four thousand acres or just four, it’s important to be counted. Every voice counts.”