01/09/2013 5:32PM

AHC requests U.S. farms and ranches to take part in agricultural census

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The American Horse Council has issued a request to all horse farms and ranches in the U.S. to participate in the 2012 United States Department of Agriculture Census of Agriculture. The census is conducted every five years to determine the number of U.S. farms and ranches and to gather vital information about U.S. agriculture, including the horse community. Information gathered includes land use and ownership, livestock populations, operator characteristics, production practices, and farm income.

“It is very important that the American horse community is properly accounted for in the upcoming census,” AHC President Jay Hickey said. “The information collected by the census will influence agricultural policy for the next five years. It is vital all farms and ranches with horses participate in the census so the USDA has accurate information regarding the size and scope of the horse community.”

Farm or ranch owners who participated in the last Census of Agriculture, conducted in 2007 will automatically be mailed a survey. If a farm or ranch was not part of the 2007 census and has not received a form in the mail, the owner can go to the USDA website at http://www.agcensus.usda.gov and register.

Farmers and ranchers should receive their forms in the mail by early January. Completed forms are due by Feb. 4.

According to the USDA guidelines for the Agricultural Census, a farm is any place in which $1,000 or more of agricultural products, including horses, were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the year.