**The USDA says the time has come to respond to both the 2019 Census of Horticultural Specialties and the 2019 Organic Survey.

The USDA is asking those who receive questionnaires to respond quickly AND “online if possible.”

USDA National Ag Statistics Administrator Hubert Hamer tells thepacker.com, survey responses help associations, businesses, and policymakers advocate for their industry, influence program decisions, and educate others.

The Census is conducted once every five years and deadline for response is February 5th.

**With 2019 coming to a close, National Pork Producers Council is highlighting progress made over the past year.

NPPC President David Herring says U.S. pork producers are operating in a significantly improved environment than at this time last year.

Herring says among this year’s successes were prompting removal of Mexico's 20% tariffs on U.S. pork, urging the U.S. and Japan trade deal, getting oversight of cell cultured protein at USDA, and urging legislation to increase the number of ag inspectors at the ports.

**Farming remains overwhelmingly a family business, according to a government report. The report says 98% of farms are family farms of varying sizes, accounting for 88% of farm production.

According to the California Farm Bureau, many operators of small and mid-sized family farms rely on off-farm work to supplement their income.

The report says more than 70% of farms receive no farm-related government payments.

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