The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is preparing to conduct its 2012 USDA Census of Agriculture. Horses will be included in the Census. Every five years, USDA conducts an agriculture census to determine the number of U.S. farms and ranches and gather vital information about U.S agriculture, including the horse community. The census is a valuable tool to help the USDA determine land use and ownership, livestock populations, operator characteristics, production practices, farm income as well as other important information.
The American Horse Council wants to ensure that the American horse community is properly accounted for in the upcoming Census. Please participate. There are three ways in which horse owners can take part in the Census.
1. If a farm or ranch received a survey for census participation in the past (the last census was taken in 2007), the farm will be mailed a survey that can be filled in and mailed back.
2. If a farm or ranch was not part of the 2007 Census and has not received a form in the mail, the owner must go to the USDA’s census website http://www.agcensus.usda.gov and register. Once this form is submitted online, a survey will be mailed to the farm or ranch.
3. Horse owners can also fill out the census online at http://www.agcensus.usda.gov. Even if you plan to fill out the Census online you will still need to register with the USDA if you have not received a form in the mail.
Further information on the 2012 Census of Agriculture can be found on the USDA’s webpage. Farmers and ranchers should receive a Census form in the mail by early January. Please note completed forms are due by February 4, 2013.
It is very important all horse farms and ranches participate in the Census so the USDA has accurate information regarding the size and scope of the horse community. For Census purposes, a farm is any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products, such as horses, were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the year.
If you have any questions please contact the AHC.