Environmental Studies 225T

Sustainable Food & Agriculture
Professor: Henry Art
Fall 2018

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Lori DuBois
Federal Depository Library
Program Coordinator


History of the Agricultural Census

"The Census of Agriculture originated as part of the 1820 decennial census, when U.S. marshals began to ask how many people within each household were engaged in agricultural pursuits. In 1840, marshals began using separate census schedules to collect data related to agriculture.

The Census of Agriculture continued to be conducted during the same year as the decennial census of population until 1950. Between 1954 and 1974, the U.S. Census Bureau conducted the census of agriculture in years ending in "4" and "9." Following the census of agriculture in 1978, the Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Agriculture decided to conduct this census in years ending in "2" and "7." (See Title 7, U.S. Code, Chapter 55.)

In 1997, Congress transferred budgetary responsibility for the Census of Agriculture to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Despite the shift in funding, the Census Bureau continues to design the questionnaires, mail questionnaires, manage returns, and process the data for the Department of Agriculture." (Census of Agriculture: History)

Accessing the Census of Agriculture

For information about accessing print copies and navigating the electronic files for the years for the BIO/ENVI 225T assignment, see the years listed on the left.