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May 6, 2013
~ Deadline Extended to May 31, 2013 ~
Contact: Elaine J. Lidholm, 804.786.7686

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) reminds all Virginia farmers that the 2012 Census of Agriculture officially closes on May 31, 2013. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is urging farmers and ranchers not to miss this opportunity to be counted and help determine the future of farming in America. USDA has already received more than two million completed Census forms.

"We need your help to ensure that decisions about U.S. agriculture accurately represent Virginia, our communities and our industry," said VDACS Commissioner Matthew J. Lohr. "For every 158 people in America there is one farm. I urge you to respond to the Census – Virginia is counting on the information to help ensure a continued supply of food, fiber and fuel for generations to come."

The Census of Agriculture, conducted only once every five years, is the only source of consistent and comprehensive agricultural data for every state and county in the nation. It looks at farms, value of land, market value of agricultural production, farm practices, expenditures and other factors that affect the way farmers and ranchers do business. The information is used by agribusinesses, town planners, local governments and policy makers, as well as farmers, ranchers, growers and others to shape farm programs, boost rural services and grow the future of farming.

“It's not too late for those who have not yet responded to join the generations of producers who participated in the Agriculture Census since it was first conducted in 1840,” said Lohr. ““The Census of Agriculture is every farmer’s voice, future and responsibility.”

The 2012 Census will provide a complete picture of agriculture that will be used to shape the future of agriculture, rural America and the lives Virginians, and indeed the entire U.S.A., for years to come. The deadline to respond to the Census of Agriculture is only a few weeks away - May 31, 2013. USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) may contact producers by phone or in person to collect Census information to ensure an accurate count by the deadline.

Farmers and ranchers can return their forms by mail or online by visiting this secure website. Federal law requires a response from everyone who receives the Census form and requires NASS to keep all individual information confidential.

For more information about the Census, including helpful tips on completing your Census form, visit the website above or call 888.4AG.STAT (888.424.7828).

VDACS posts all of its news releases on Facebook and Twitter. To receive immediate updates, follow us on Twitter@VaAgriculture or like us on

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