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National Census of Agriculture Launches This Month Which is Key to Provide Key Information on Farming and Agriculture in Michigan, U.S.

LANSING – The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) kicked off the 2022 Census of Agriculture for the 46,000 producers in Michigan as well as the approximately three million U.S. producers this month. USDA will be mailing out survey access codes to producers across the country in late November. These survey codes can be used to access the Census of Agriculture survey online

“The Census of Agriculture is the nation’s only complete count of farms and the people who operate them. Even small plots of land - whether rural or urban - growing fruit, vegetables or food animals count if $1,000 or more were raised and sold,” said Gary McDowell, director, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. “The Ag Census helps provide key information on what’s happening across the U.S. giving us a clearer picture of how we can help support the farmers and ranchers who feed us and our families every day.”

Many farmers and producers don’t realize how answering, or not answering, NASS surveys and questionnaires directly impacts them, their communities, or their industries. Even if producers do not use the results themselves or take advantage of USDA or other agriculture programs and services that rely on the data, everyone is affected by rural development. Data collected from the survey affects how resources are directed to such things as roads, internet access, veteran health clinics, agribusiness set-up, disaster relief, and much more.

“The Census of Agriculture is only taken once every five years. It looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, land still in farming, production practices, income, and expenditures. For U.S. farmers and ranchers, the Census of Agriculture is their voice, their future, and their opportunity,” said Marlo D. Johnson, Regional Director of USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Regional Office. “The data helps inform policymakers on investments needs like high-speed internet expansion, infrastructure needs, healthcare and other USDA programs.”

In addition to being used by policymakers, the data also justifies research and the development of new technologies. Census data is also used to determine where there should be agriculture education in schools and to simply promote the importance of agriculture among non-agricultural neighbors.

When farmers receive the census forms, they can complete the questionnaire either online through an improved, user-friendly system (calculates totals automatically and skips questions that do not pertain to that operation), or they may still complete the questionnaire and submit it via mail.

For more information about the 2022 Census of Agriculture, visit the website at https://www.nass.usda.gov/AgCensus/.

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Media contacts: (USDA-NASS) Marlo Johnson, 517-324-5300 or (MDARD) Jennifer Holton, 517-284-5724