HONOLULU – Officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) are calling and knocking on the doors of Hawaii’s farmers and rancers to remind them that it’s not too late to respond to the 2007 Census of Agriculture.
“More than 6,000 responses have already been received in Hawai`i,” says Mark Hudson, director of the NASS Hawai`i Field Office. “I sincerely thank those who have fulfilled their responsibility by completing and returning their Census forms. But there’s still a good number we need to hear from to make this the most accurate Census on record.”
While the official response deadline was Feb. 4, NASS will continue to accept responses through early June.
“It’s not too late to respond,” added Hudson. “We want to make sure that every farm and ranch in Hawaii is counted. “So, if you have not done so already, please complete and return your 2007 Census of Agriculture form today. By responding, producers are helping themselves, their communities and Hawai`i agriculture.”
Conducted every five years, the Census of Agriculture is the only source of consistent and comprehensive agricultural data for every state and county in the nation. That information is used by town planners, policy makers, agribusinesses and others to make important growth-generating decisions.
“The Census is an opportunity for local farmers to demonstrate the importance of Hawai`i agriculture and strength of rural America to the rest of the country,” says Hudson. “But, more importantly, Census data is used to affect policy and business decisions that will shape our communities for future generations. Agriculture is an important and respected industry in Hawai`i. Also, agriculture is a very important component of our culture and gives a sense of place.”
Whether or not they are actively engaged in agricultural activity, everyone who received a Census of Agriculture form is required by law to respond. Forms can be returned by mail or submitted online. For more information, or for assistance with completing the 2007 Census of Agriculture, call toll-free (888) 424-7828 or visitwww.agcensus.usda.gov. The Census is your voice, your future and your responsibility.
For more information, contact Mark Hudson at (808) 973-2907.