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Editor:

Time is running out to complete the 2017 Census of Agriculture.

To date, we have received back more than 9,200 forms in Wyoming. But the Wyoming return rate, about 60 percent, is currently lower than at this point in the 2012 Census. If you have not returned your completed Census questionnaire, please do so as soon as possible.

We are grateful for the great response from Wyoming to date, but it is important that everyone who received a Census questionnaire join their neighbors, colleagues, friends and family in being part of the Census count no matter the size or location of your operation.

The Census of Agriculture is the only comprehensive source of agriculture data for every state and county in the nation. Census data are used by farmers and ranchers, policymakers, trade associations, researchers, agribusinesses, educators and many others. Doug Miyamoto, Wyoming Department of Agriculture director, says “For example, the Wyoming Department of Agriculture, the Wyoming Business Council, and many of the State’s trade associations depend on the Census of Agriculture to describe agriculture in Wyoming and to advocate for Wyoming agriculture when negotiating trade opportunities domestically and internationally.”

Miyamoto continues, “Without the Census of Agriculture, we would have very little data upon which to base sound policy decisions. It would be almost impossible to plan for Wyoming’s agricultural future without knowing the State’s inventory of farm, ranch and product data supplied by the Census of Agriculture. I can better advocate for Wyoming agriculture if our producers submit their 2017 Census of Agriculture and I encourage all of our farmers and ranchers to please make sure your operation is counted”.

For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture or for assistance with the questionnaire, visit www.agcensus.usd.gov or call toll-free (888) 424-7828.

RHONDA BRANDT, Wyoming state statistician, U.S. Department of Agriculture

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