CHARLESTON, W.Va — The W.Va. Department of Agriculture is encouraging all farmers and farm operations in the state to participate in the 2022 Census of Agriculture to ensure support for agriculture in West Virginia.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service mailed paper questionnaires to producers in December, according to W.Va. Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt, who outlined the importance of the census.
“We encourage everyone who receives a census to participate. This is the only source of impartial, comprehensive state and county-level agriculture data in the nation," Leonhardt said.
"Most importantly, the data collected is used when developing funding formulas for farm bills. It also helps local governments, extensions educators, and researchers make informed decisions that directly affect our state’s farm operations, communities, and industries."
Farm operations of all sizes, urban or rural, which produced and sold, or usually would have sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural product in 2022, are included in the census, he said.
The data inform decisions about programs, rural development, and research. West Virginia State Statistician Alissa Cowell-Mytar says the census is the producer’s voice in the future of American agriculture.
“The 2022 Census of Agriculture is an opportunity for West Virginia ag producers to make their voices heard," Cowell-Mytar said.
"The data will tell the story of agriculture at the national, state, and county level. Ag census data are used by decision-makers in government, businesses, research institutions, and more."
To make response easier and save time, the National Agricultural Statistics Service improved the online questionnaire at www.agcounts.usda.gov so that it skips questions that do not pertain to you and includes some previously reported data.”
Producers can respond to the census online at www.agcounts.usda.gov or by mail. The deadline to respond is February 6, 2023. All information will be kept confidential by Federal law, published in aggregate, and will only be used for statistical purposes.
For more information, visit www.nass.usda.gov/agcensus or call 888-424-7828.