Farm Service Agency teams with census

RBC I Trudy Kareus, executive director for USDA’s Farm Service Agency in Colorado announced Tuesday that FSA has teamed up with the U.S. Census Bureau to encourage all farmers and ranchers to complete the 2010 census.
“I believe rural America is the heart and the soul and the guts of America. And I believe that we have to start paying real attention to our farm families and to those who live in rural America if we want to preserve that value system,” said Kareus. “So, it’s important for us to figure out new strategies and different strategies and expanded strategies for bringing prosperity back to the farm, prosperity back to the ranch, and prosperity back to rural communities.”
These strategies begin with the completion of the census forms, which were mailed in March to all residents in the United States and Puerto Rico. They are comprised of 10 questions and take only 10 minutes to complete and mail back in the postage-paid envelope. The questions include names of residents, ages, sex, date of birth, race, relationship to the head of the household, whether the resident rents or owns and a telephone number should the Census Bureau have any questions.
Having everyone counted is critical to the security of rural communities and will ensure that the more than $400 billion in federal funding will be allocated to these communities annually to support schools, broadband initiatives, hospitals, emergency services and public works projects.
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Meeker Administrative Assistant Becky Niemi, who is working with the census locally, also encouraged residents to respond to the questionnaire, because of the importance to local communities.
“Federal funds are allocated to communities based on the census count,” Niemi said.