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Agriculture Press Release

January 10, 2003

Bronson reminds Floridaís Farmers and Ranchers to participate in the U.S. Census of Agriculture

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson today urged the stateís farmers and ranchers to complete and return the 2002 Census of Agriculture forms that were sent to them in December by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"The nationís agricultural sector has a critical stake in this census of agriculture," Bronson said. "Every response is important because it helps in the development of future farm programs. I encourage Floridaís participants to return their completed forms as soon as possible to ensure that agriculture counts."

An accurate report of the farm operations in every state and county will help put together a complete, detailed picture of the nationís agriculture. Snapshots of U.S. agriculture dating back to 1840 are a valuable resource to farmers, farm organizations, agribusiness, farm media, and county, state and federal governments.

Anyone needing help completing their report form may call 1-888-4AG-STAT. Under federal law, everyone receiving a report form across the nationís more than 3,000 counties must report. Individual reports are held strictly confidential by law.

The census data is used to:

Examine long-term trends and anticipate the future direction of agriculture.

Allocate local and national funds for farm programs.

Help agribusiness develop sales territories and marketing plans for fertilizer, seed, processing, storage, transportation, and equipment.

Help state and federal government agencies evaluate effects of changes in farm legislation.

Assess patterns in water use and irrigation to determine resource and management needs.

Allocate cooperative extension funding, services, and research at the local level.

Results from the 2002 Census of Agriculture will be published on February 3, 2004.

They will be available from USDA at and the Florida Agricultural Statistics Service at, as well as from many libraries and land grant universities.


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