Agriculture Secretary Encourages PA Farmers to Be Counted In 2022 Agriculture Census

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PENNSYLVANIA — Last month, more than 52,000 known farmers and other agricultural producers across Pennsylvania began receiving 2022 Census of Agriculture questionnaires from the USDA. Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding is urging every Pennsylvania farmer and grower, no matter their location, to take time to respond to help ensure that Pennsylvania doesn’t miss out on opportunities for policies and investments to support their needs.

“If you aren’t counted, you just may not count,” said Redding. “But if you invest a little time in answering the census, you will be helping shape farm policies and decisions that will affect your future, bring opportunities for growth and funding to Pennsylvania, and help ensure that your family, your farm, and your sector of ag count.”

Every five years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service conducts a nationwide count of those who earn at least $1,000 per year growing food and other crops. Data gathered help give an accurate picture of agricultural production in every U.S. county, inform food and agriculture policies and programs, and guide investments that will grow and sustain the industry.

This every five-year data collection is the only source of comprehensive, impartial state and county level ag data in the country.

Census data are used to tell each county, state and region’s story — including the strengths and weaknesses of an area, what is produced there, and who the producers are. Data are used by:

  • Processors, retailers, and other businesses looking to tell whether an area has the suppliers or infrastructure they need to set up shop,
  • Investors deciding whether they want to support a new venture in the region,
  • Journalists, advocates, researchers, extension educators, and others who need a clear picture of an issue and who it affects,
  • Government agencies and legislators at every level seeking to create initiatives to boost the economy or level the playing field for ag businesses in their jurisdictions,
  • Policymakers planning critical infrastructure like broadband, roads, water, energy, education, and other initiatives and investments like those in the Pennsylvania Farm Bill and federal Farm Bill, and,
  • Farmers and agribusinesses assessing their own resources, risks, and investments.
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“Respond today,” Redding added. “The Census of Agriculture is your voice, your future, your opportunity.”

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