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Not too late for agriculture census

Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer is reminding America’s farmers and ranchers that they should still plan to respond to the 2007 Census of Agriculture either by Internet or postal mail.

“More than 2 million responses have already been received,” said Schafer. “I thank those who have fulfilled their responsibility by completing and returning their census forms. However, a good number of producers have not been heard from.”

Conducted every five years, the Census of Agriculture provides a comprehensive agricultural data for every state and county in the nation. That information is used by town planners, policymakers, agribusinesses and others to make decisions that will shape rural communities for future generations.

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service has sent a second reminder mailing. Representatives from 46 NASS field offices are beginning to call and visit producers who have not responded.

“We need to hear from everyone, no matter how big or small their operation is, and no matter what they farm, where they farm or how they farm. As we say, it’s your voice, your future and your responsibility,” Schafer said.

Whether or not they are actively engaged in agricultural activity, everyone who received a Census of Agriculture form is required by law to respond. Forms can be returned by mail or submitted online. For more information, or for assistance with completing the 2007 Census of Agriculture, call toll-free (888) 424-7828 or visit www.agcensus.usda.gov.

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