CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt and the West Virginia Department of Agriculture are encouraging all farmers and farm operations to participate in the 2022 Census of Agriculture.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service previously mailed out paper questionnaires to producers in December.

“We encourage everyone who receives a census to participate. This is the only source of impartial, comprehensive, state and county level agriculture data in the nation. Most importantly, the data collected is used when developing funding formulas for Farm Bills. It also helps local governments, extensions educators and researchers make informed decisions that directly affect our state’s farm operations, communities and industries. That is why it’s important that every producer in West Virginia is counted and represented.”

West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt

The following is included in the census: Farm operations of all sizes, urban or rural, which produced and sold $1,000 or more of agricultural product in 2022. This data informs decisions about programs, rural development, and research. The Census of Agriculture is prominent in the fact that it is the producer’s voice in the future of American agriculture.

“The 2022 Census of Agriculture is an opportunity for West Virginia ag producers to make their voices heard. The data will tell the story of agriculture at the national, state, and county level. Ag census data are used by decision-makers in government, businesses, research institutions, and more. To make response easier and save time, NASS improved the online questionnaire at www.agcounts.usda.gov so that it skips questions that do not pertain to you and includes some previously reported data.”

West Virginia State Statistician Alissa Cowell-Mytar

Producers for the census can respond online to the census at www.agcounts.usda.gov or by mail. Producers must respond by February 6, 2023.

All information will be kept confidential by Federal law, published in aggregate, and will only be used for statistical purposes.

For more information, please visit www.nass.usda.gov/agcensus or call 888-424-7828.