By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
Mississippi farmers and forest landowners have the opportunity to provide data that helps shape future farm policy when they complete the 2022 Census of Agriculture.
The deadline to be counted in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s census is Feb. 6, 2023. Although it is too late to sign up for the census, codes to participate in the survey were mailed out in November, so participants can respond online.
Taken every five years, the ag census is a complete count of U.S. farms, ranches and the people who operate them. It is the only source of comprehensive and impartial data on agriculture in each county and state. Participation in the Census of Agriculture is required by law of those in farming and agriculture.
Steve Martin, interim director of the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said agriculture is Mississippi’s No. 1 industry, and it provides 17.4% of the state’s jobs and more than $16 billion in added value to the state’s economy annually.
“Proper representation of all of our farmers and ranchers is critical to this important industry in our state,” Martin said. “Census data inform decisions about policy, farm and conservation programs, infrastructure and rural development, research, education and more.
“I encourage all Mississippi farmers to submit their data, as the Census of Agriculture is your opportunity to have a voice in the future of U.S. agriculture,” he said.Source : msstate.edu