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USDA Gearing Up to Count the Nation's Farmers and Ranchers

The 2012 Census of Agriculture will begin soon. Nearly 3 million report forms will be mailed to the nation’s farmers and ranchers in late December. The census produces information on land use and ownership, production practices, income and expenditures, and many other topics at national, state, county and even Zip Code levels.

The census helps tell the story of agriculture so that millions of people with no farm background understand where their food comes from. One of the ways to frame the discussion is to provide facts and figures as an educational tool and a way to describe the important work of the nation’s farmers and ranchers.

The census, which is conducted every five years, provides a means to keep up with emerging issues and measure changes in agriculture. The almond industry is one of the fastest growing sectors of California’s agricultural industry. The ag census will provide the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) with updated acreage information, allowing the California Field Office (CFO) to confirm the estimated increase in bearing acreage since the last census in 2007. Growers can find more information about the census and make sure they are counted by visiting the Census of Agriculture website.

Growers attending The Almond Conference in Sacramento in December can enter their census data in person or online at the Almond Board trade show booth, where members of the NASS-CFO will be on hand to answer questions and hand out gifts to those who participate.

Contact Vic Tolomeo, California State Director, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, for more information.

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