Women Farmers Urged to Complete Census of Agriculture before February

Throughout December, producers will receive the 2017 Census of Agriculture from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA NASS). The deadline to respond is February 5, 2018. Producers can respond online at www.agcensus.usda.gov or by mail.

The Census of Agriculture highlights the characteristics and practices of landowners and operators, including their gender. It hasn’t always been that way. While the Census of Ag has been conducted for more than 150 years, gender data has only been collected since 1978. Women have always played a tremendous role on farms, but because of a lack of data, it’s difficult for us to track trends and progress.

This year, USDA NASS expanded their questionnaire to collect information for up to four persons on the farm. The hope is that this will provide a clearer picture of all of the roles that go into farms, including the work of women in ag.

Use Your voice to Shape the Future

The census is conducted once every five years and aims to get a complete and accurate picture of American agriculture. The resulting data are used by trade associations, researchers, policymakers, extension educators, agribusinesses, and many others. The data can play a vital role in community planning, farm assistance programs, technology development, farm advocacy, agribusiness setup, rural development, and more.

It’s really important for all women farmers to participate so that there are accurate statistics about agriculture in the United States. 

“The Census of Agriculture remains the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every county in the nation,” said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “Today, when data are so important, there is strength in numbers. For farmers and ranchers, participation in the Census of Agriculture is their voice, their future, and their opportunity to shape American agriculture – its policies, services, and assistance programs – for years to come.”

You Likely Fit the Definition

USDA NASS defines a farmer or producer as an operation that sold $1,000 or more during the census year. The definition is based on sales, not profit or land. Federal law requires all agricultural producers to participate in the Census of Agriculture. The same law requires NASS to keep all information confidential.  In the Census, and in all related surveys, NASS safeguards the privacy of all respondents, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified.

The census is the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every state and county in the nation. Every response matters. Every voice helps shape the future of U.S. agriculture. For more information, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov or call (800) 727-9540. The Census of Agriculture is your voice, your future, your opportunity.

NewsSherri Dugger