Today's Topic

Today’s Topic: 2017 Census of Agriculture is coming

By on June 20, 2017

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”

The USDA will begin collecting data for the 2017 Census of Agriculture later this year, and there are some changes this time around.

This year, the census will include a question about farmers who are active-duty or military veterans. USDA’s goal is to better understand whether farming has become a viable career path for our nation’s servicemen and women.

The census also will ask for additional information about marketing practices to gain insight into the value of agricultural products sold for consumption. The census will ask about the number of farms taking part in direct marketing and the dollar value of direct marketing sales. This information will help the industry understand the value of food sales directly to consumers and sales to retailers, food hubs and institutions.

The online questionnaire for the census also has been improved. USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service is encouraging farmers to fill out the census online this year. It will be available on the NASS website in late November.

USDA also will mail out questionnaires to farmers, and that will begin in December. But it’s not too early to begin thinking about the census. In fact, USDA is encouraging farmers to sign up for it now.

USDA conducts the census every five years. It is a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches and the people who operate them. The census is the only source of uniform, comprehensive agricultural data for every county in the United States. For more information about the census, click here.

Click on the link below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda discuss what’s new in the 2017 Census of Agriculture and why it’s important to take part.

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Southern Farm Network is a division of Curtis Media Group.

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