Horse Owners Reminded of USDA Agriculture Census

Farmers will soon have the opportunity to make their voices heard and help shape the future of agriculture for years to come when the 2007 Census of Agriculture arrives in their mailboxes. The surveys have been mailed and must be filled out and returned by Feb. 4, 2008. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, recently reminded that state’s horse owners of their role in ensuring they’re counted.

Conducted every five years by the USDA, the Census is a complete count of the nation's farms and the people who operate them. The Census looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures and other topics. It provides the other source of uniform, comprehensive agricultural data for every county in the nation.

"We urge every farmer in New Jersey to fill out the Census of Agriculture and return it promptly to ensure the most accurate count," said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Charles M. Kuperus. "The Census provides information that benefits producers and their communities with data that can be used to guide production strategies and help policymakers develop precise plans for the future."

The USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) field offices will collect the data for the 2007 calendar year and compile it. The Census will generate details on both a statewide and countywide basis.

"The Census of Agriculture is about the future of agriculture and rural communities in our state," said Troy Joshua, director of the New Jersey Field Office of NASS. "Regardless of how large or small their operation is or what kinds of products they produce, New Jersey producers will help themselves and their communities by filling out the Census and returning it by the February 4th deadline. We want producers to know: the Census of Agriculture is their voice, their future and their responsibility."

Producers can return their forms by mail or, for the first time, they have the convenient option of filling out the Census online. For more information about the Census, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov.  

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