It's not too late to respond to ag census

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

"More than two million responses have already been received," said Schafer. "I sincerely 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, so I'm encouraging everyone to help make this the most accurate Census of Agriculture on record."

Conducted every five years, the Census of Agriculture is the only source of consistent and comprehensive agricultural data for every state and county in the nation. That information is used by town planners, policy makers, agribusinesses and others to make important growth-generating decisions that will shape rural communities for future generations.

USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) already sent a second reminder mailing. Representatives from NASS's 46 field offices are now 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

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