NASS to follow-up with Colorado farmers and ranchers who have not yet responded
LAKEWOOD, COLORADO – March 8, 2018 – Colorado farmers, ranchers, land owners, and others who received a form still have time to be counted in the 2017 Census of Agriculture, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Although the first deadline has just passed, NASS will continue to accept Census information through the spring to get a complete and accurate picture of American agriculture that represents all farmers and ranchers in all counties.
“We thank everyone who has completed their Census to date. Colorado currently has a return rate of 49 percent of the 58,500 Census questionnaires mailed last fall,” said William Meyer, Director Mountain Regional Field Office. “County Commissioners, Economic Development Committees, Extension Educators, and many other county, state, and national officials rely on accurate county-level data to make sound decisions and improve the economy in Colorado. Even if you only have one or two head of livestock on the outside of town, you use inputs and are a potential market. Farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses lose the opportunity to be represented if they do not know you are there.”
Federal law mandates that everyone who received the 2017 Census of Agriculture questionnaire complete and return it even if not currently farming. NASS will continue to follow-up with producers through the spring with mailings, phone calls, and personal visits. To avoid these additional contacts, farmers and ranchers are encouraged to complete their Census either online at www.agcounts.usda.gov or by mail as soon as possible. Responding online saves time by skipping sections that do not apply and automatically calculating totals. The online questionnaire is accessible on desktops, laptops, and mobile devices.
Meyer says “I receive many requests for data throughout the year that include age data, ethnic breakout data, counts on various types of operations, information on crops not in our annual programs, machinery and lately, with Colorado’s push for broadband access across the entire state, I had requests for county level broadband percentages which come from the Census. These are just a few of the types of county level information requests I receive and without the Census, this information would not be available.”
For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov. For questions or assistance filling out the Census, call toll-free (888) 424-7828.