Helena, Mont. – Producers throughout Montana are being reminded to sign up to participate in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. New producers or those who did not receive a Census of Agriculture in 2012 can sign up to receive the 2017 Census of Agriculture report by clicking here and signing up by June 30th, 2017. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) defines a farm as any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the census year (2017).
“It’s important for our producers to make their voices heard,” said Ben Thomas, Director of the Montana Department of Agriculture. “The data received is especially important as we head into negotiations surrounding the 2018 farm bill.”
Conducted every five years by NASS, the census, to be mailed at the end of this year, is a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches, and those who operate them. The 2017 Census of Agriculture highlights land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures, and other topics. The 2012 Census of Agriculture revealed that over three million farmers operated more than two million farms, spanning over 914 million acres throughout the U.S.
“The census helps tell the whole story of US agriculture, and it’s the most complete source of county level data,” said Eric Sommer, NASS State Statistician for Montana. “The census gives the producer a chance to have a voice in the future of agriculture and an opportunity to tell their story.”2
The Montana Department of Agriculture’s mission is to protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries.
For more information, contact:
Eric Sommer, USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, (406) 441-1240
Andy Fjeseth, Montana Department of Agriculture, (406) 444-3684