Local farmers participate in ag census

BRIDPORT - Vermont farmers invested in their future by participating in the 2007 Census of Agriculture. They will soon see a return on that investment when census results are released Feb. 4 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

"The true value of the Census of Agriculture is in the information it provides," said Gary Keough, director of the NASS New England Field Office.

"The census charts trends in agriculture over time and provides the only source of uniform, comprehensive data for every county in the nation."

The census, which is conducted every five years, provides facts and figures on virtually every aspect of U.S. agriculture, including number and types of farm operations, the economic aspects of farm production and the demographics of U.S. farm operators.

For farmers and ranchers, census data can be a valuable tool to help them make informed decisions about the future of their operations. In addition, the information is used by all those who serve farmers and rural communities, including government agencies, community planners, agribusinesses, lenders, trade associations and many others.

"The information provided from the census is really the voice of our nation's farmers and ranchers," said Keough. "They took the time to tell us about what's happening in agriculture on a local and national level. That voice will be heard by policymakers and other agricultural stakeholders now and in the years ahead."

Census results will be available online and in various publications to be issued by NASS. For more information, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov or call 800-727-9540.

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