The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is conducting the 2007 Census of Agriculture, and if you own a horse farm or ranch you’re encouraged to participate. The USDA Census, taken every five years, is a count of U.S. farms, ranches and the people who operate them.
The USDA reports that the 2007 Census of Agriculture will help to measure land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures and many other areas. There are three ways in which horse owners can participate in the USDA’s 2007 Census of Agriculture:
1. If your farm received a survey for Census participation in the past (the last Census was taken in 2002), your farm will be mailed a survey that you can fill in and mail back.
2. If your farm was not part of the 2002 Census, or you are not sure if you participated, you can fill out a basic USDA Census registration form online by following the link from the American Horse Council’s web site at www.horsecouncil.org or by visiting the USDA’s website at www.agcensus.usda.gov. Once this form is submitted online, a survey will be mailed to you.
3. Finally, beginning in late December 2007, the Census survey will be available to all farm owners and operators to fill out online even if they have not pre-registered.
According to an AHC report, the American horse industry has a $102 billion dollar impact on the U.S. economy and supports 1.4 million U.S. jobs. There are more than 9.2 million horses in the United States, making the U.S. horse-owning population the largest in the world.
Census forms will be mailed on Dec. 28, 2007. The mailing will include further instructions about how to log in and respond to the Census via a secure web connection. All Census forms must be completed by Feb. 2, 2008.
For more information, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov.