2010-12-23 / Family

U.S. Dept. Of Agriculture To Conduct Census Of Farming Community

Rep. Dick Hess (R-Bedford/ Fulton/Huntingdon) announced Monday that beginning in January, the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will be working in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to contact farmers throughout Pennsylvania to conduct the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS). This survey will allow farmers the opportunity to provide accurate, realtime data that will help shape the policies, programs and issues that affect the agriculture industry.

“I encourage farmers throughou the 78th District to participate if they are contacted,” Hess said. “By providing data about their farming operations, policies and resources can be directed to Pennsylavnia to support our agricultural community.”

The survey will be conducted between January 28 and April 14, 2011, and will include input from nearly 35,000 farmers nationwide, of which 673 will be randomly selected from Pennsylvania. Producers will be asked to provide data on their operating expenditures, production costs and household characteristics.

Additionally, the Pennsylvania Field Office of the NASS will be surveying cattle farmers for its largest cattle survey from December 30, 2010, to January 11, 2011. Estimates will include the total number of cattle and calves as of January 1, 2011, as well as the total number of heifers, steers, milk cows and beef cows.

Hess noted that with both surveys, federal law mandates that the data provided must be kept confidential, and names, addresses and information about individual operations are considered private information and are exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Results of the cattle survey will be made available on January 28, 2011, and the data gathered in ARMS will be published on August 2, 2011. Both reports will be accessible by visiting the NASS Web site at www.nass.usda.gov. A link to the NASS Web site can also be found by logging onto Hess’ Web site at Dick- Hess.com. For questions or conderns regarding both surveys, farmers may contact NASS by calling 1-800- 727-9540.

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