Forty-five thousand enumerators out of the estimated grand total of 65,000, will be engaged April 15th next in gathering the required information concerning agriculture for the Thirteenth Decennnial U.S. Census. Director Durand purposes making every effort to secure progressive farmers and crop reporters for these places. His action is based upon the recommendations of Chief Statistician LeGrand Powers and the advisory board of special agents composed of professors of economics and farm experts who have been assisting in the formulation of the schedule of inquiries concerning farm operations and equipment.
It is believed that the selection of this class of men, already familiar with statistical methods of securing data and reporting it in comprehensible form, will add greatly to the efficiency of the census and to the scientific value of the information obtained. Director Durand does not anticipate any difficulty in procuring enumerators of this kind as there are in every state of the union, hundreds of crop reporters acting for the Department of Agriculture, representatives of State Boards of Agricuture, etc.
The Agricultural schedule which is to be placed in the hands of these enumerators is nearing completion by the Census Bureau. The advisory board who are acquainted with practical agriculture, its varying conditions, and who are active in their respective states in assisting the farmers to improve their farm methods, have been most earnest and no effort is being spared to make the schedule as simple as possible, and yet secure the greatest amount of important information concerning agriculture.
By means of the Census schedule an effort will be made to secure an accurate statement of the total number of acres of land in the farms of the country, by states and counties; also the improved area, number, and size of the farms. On account of the growing importance of tenancy in many parts of the country, considerable information will be secured as to whether farms are operated by owners, tenants or hired managers. Information about the value of farm, buildings, and other permanent improvements; and of the farm equipment, both machinery, implements, and live stock, will be secured.
An important part of the schedule will be that enabling a study of the crops and crop-products of 1909. The enumerators will ask about areas, quantities produced, and value of the crops, in the case of all the principal crops grown in all parts of the United States. This inquiry covers grains and seeds, hay and forage crops; and all important special crops such as fruits, nuts and vegetables; cotton, tobacco, rice, hemp; potatoes; broom corn; etc. By-products as wines, cider and vinegar, dried fruits, sugar, syrup etc., will not be overlooked by the questions in the schedule.
The inquiries concerning live stock and their stock products, also include cattle, work animals, sheep and goats, swine, poultry and bees. The facts as to the number and value of live stock at the time of the enumerations are to be secured in some detail, taking into consideration ages, sex and use of animals. Furthermore, data will be secured relating to the number quantity and value of animal products and value of each species of animal raised, purchased, and sold and the such as milk, cream, butter and chesse, wool, eggs, honey and wax.
A few special questions of a general nature may be included to secure valuable information. Among these is one which will be made concerning the area and character of woodland in farms.
There will be but one schedule for agriculture. There may be a small schedule for the enumeration of animals in cities. This will be carried by the city enumerators and it will cover horses, milch cows, chickens, etc., housed in barns, stables, etc., in the cities. No attempt will be made to get the area of city gardens or vacant lot cultivation.
Source: Crookston Times, Saturday, September 25, 1909
Submitted by Brenda G., June 2001
Updated April 21, 2015, K. Kittleson