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Improving Data Collection and Measurement of Complex Farms (2019)

Chapter: Committee on National Statistics

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Suggested Citation:"Committee on National Statistics." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Improving Data Collection and Measurement of Complex Farms. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25260.
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COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL STATISTICS

The Committee on National Statistics was established in 1972 at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to improve the statistical methods and information on which public policy decisions are based. The committee carries out studies, workshops, and other activities to foster better measures and fuller understanding of the economy, the environment, public health, crime, education, immigration, poverty, welfare, and other public policy issues. It also evaluates ongoing statistical programs and tracks the statistical policy and coordinating activities of the federal government, serving a unique role at the intersection of statistics and public policy. The committee’s work is supported by a consortium of federal agencies through a National Science Foundation grant, a National Agricultural Statistics Service cooperative agreement, and several individual contracts.

Suggested Citation:"Committee on National Statistics." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Improving Data Collection and Measurement of Complex Farms. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25260.
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Suggested Citation:"Committee on National Statistics." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Improving Data Collection and Measurement of Complex Farms. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25260.
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Page 185
Suggested Citation:"Committee on National Statistics." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Improving Data Collection and Measurement of Complex Farms. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25260.
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Page 186
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America’s farms and farmers are integral to the U.S. economy and, more broadly, to the nation’s social and cultural fabric. A healthy agricultural sector helps ensure a safe and reliable food supply, improves energy security, and contributes to employment and economic development, traditionally in small towns and rural areas where farming serves as a nexus for related sectors from farm machinery manufacturing to food processing. The agricultural sector also plays a role in the nation’s overall economic growth by providing crucial raw inputs for the production of a wide range of goods and services, including many that generate substantial export value.

If the agricultural sector is to be accurately understood and the policies that affect its functioning are to remain well informed, the statistical system’s data collection programs must be periodically revisited to ensure they are keeping up with current realities. This report reviews current information and makes recommendations to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and Economic Research Service (ERS) to help identify effective methods for collecting data and reporting information about American agriculture, given increased complexity and other changes in farm business structure in recent decades.

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