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2017 Census of Agriculture: Harvesting Opportunity
by Khubaka, Michael Harris (blackagriculture [at]
Thursday Feb 1st, 2018 12:28 PM
Harvesting Opportunity: The Power of Regional Food Systems Investments to Transform Communities is a new tool released by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis that utilizes data points provided by the Census of Agriculture. Last century we began our journey helping to quantify and qualify better opportunity for Black Agriculture producers toward impacting better health outcomes in our communities, in partnership with the USDA/NASS. A 2020 Vision was put forth as a methodology to utilize baseline data to measure the work. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is keenly aware of the potential for community development. We are proud to harvest opportunity, expanding "First Fruits of the Harvest in the Farm to Fork Capital of America." 2018 is the 170th Anniversary of the California Gold Rush and look forward participating fully in our 21st Century Gold Rush, mining gold within our neighborhoods throughout our regional communities.
Rosa Parks Day in California is Monday, February 5, 2018, the deadline for the 2017 Census of Agriculture. The faith, courage and determination demonstrated by our "Patron Saint" of the Women's Political Council of Montgomery, Alabama is utilized daily by Black Agriculture producers.

All US Agriculture producers face unique challenges.

Regional agriculture production opportunities ensure our national security and provides access to the global agribusiness marketplace. The 2017 Census of Agriculture measures our collective progress and identifies areas of opportunity.

It is important that anyone who has received a census questionnaire respond, no matter how small their part of agriculture seems, whether they are growing in an urban, suburban or rural area.

If you did not receive a census questionnaire and are an agriculture producer, you are probably not registered with the USDA and may not "officially" exist in their database.

All of agriculture matters and it has been a journey to include Urban Agriculture.

There are two ways to respond: online at or by mail.

The census, conducted just once every five years, provides a complete account of farming and the people who operate them, its changes, and emerging trends.

A farm is defined by USDA as a place where $1,000 or more of agricultural products were raised and sold, or normally would have been sold during a year - 2017 in this case.

Census data are widely used, often relied on when developing the Farm Bill and other farm policy, and when making decisions about disaster relief, community planning, technology development, and more.

It is important that every producer be reflected in the data so that no operation or community is underserved in the years to come.

The better the data, the more accurate the reports; the more accurate the reports, the more informed decisions will be.

For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture, visit

For questions or assistance with the census, call toll-free (888) 424-7828. Respond today.