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Organic farmers urged to respond to survey

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is urging organic farmers in the state to respond to the first organic production survey to be conducted by the USDA's National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS).

The survey will be mailed in early May.

MDA Organic and Diversification Specialist Meg Moynihan says responding to the survey is the best way for organic producers to stand up and be counted.

"We recognize that it's a very busy time of year for farmers but their participation in this survey is extremely important," Moynihan said. "The NASS survey is the best way for organic farmers to be counted at the national level. Their answers will influence farm policy, the funding available for organic research and cost share, and other federal support for organic agriculture."

MDA conducted a state organic farmer survey earlier this spring and Moynihan said response was tremendous, with an estimated 43 percent of organic farmers participating. The results of the state survey will be published later this summer.

Questions about the USDA NASS 2008 Organic Production Survey can be directed to Douglas Hartwig, Director of USDA's NASS Minnesota Field Office at (651) 201-2230.