By the end of the month you’ll be finding the 2013 Census packet in your mailbox along with the bills of the holidays just celebrated. America’s farmers and ranchers will have the opportunity to make a positive impact on their communities by taking part in the Census of Agriculture. Conducted every five years by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the Census captures a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches and those who operate them.
Why should you take the time to complete the form? Should you even bother to if you no longer farm?
The quick and easy answer is “yes,” mainly because it’s the law. But most importantly because it’s your voice and you could consider it one of your “lobbyists” even. As the nation becomes more and more urban, as more and more generations are removed from a farming life style, you as a farmer have a smaller voice and fewer advocates. The census allows you to stand and be counted.
All those who serve farmers and rural communities from federal, state and local governments to agribusinesses and trade associations use census data. Companies and cooperatives can use the information to determine the locations of facilities that will serve agricultural producers.
Often legislators use the information when shaping farm policies and programs. And, of course, members of various organizations can use Census data to help make informed decisions about the future of our own operations.
As the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) website says “Your answers to the Census help grow your farm future; shape farm programs; and boost services for you, your community and your industry.”
NASS will mail out Census forms in late December, and responses are due by Feb. 4. Producers also have the option to complete their forms online. After all, the Census is your voice, your future and your responsibility. For more information about the Census, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov or call 1-888-4AG-STAT (1-888-424-7828).
POULTRY ASSOCIATION FALL CLASSIC SHOW
The Bluegrass Poultry Association held its 2012 Fall Classic Show on Oct. 27 at Lakeview Park. There were 1,085 entries from 20 Kentucky counties and five states. Swap meet, silent auction and auction were a great success. The sole Franklin County exhibitor, Steve Skelton, won Best Variety with his Royal Palm Turkey. Steve also received Champion Bronze Tom Turkey.
The next event of the Bluegrass Poultry show will be an auction and swap meet set for March 13 at the pavilions at Lakeview Park. The Spring Classic Show and Swap will be on April 6 and the Fall Classic will be held on Oct. 26. For details and more information contact Marty Short at 859-274-3337 or firstname.lastname@example.org.