By the President of the United States of America
A periodic census of all the American people is required by the Constitution as the basis for apportioning representation in Congress. In addition, Congress has since 1840 provided for a special census of agriculture to periodically meet the Nation's requirements for reliable and timely statistics on this indispensable segment of our economy.
The 1974 Census of Agriculture has just begun. Statistics for more than 2.5 million farms will be collected to provide measures of the farm industry and agricultural economy for the Nation, each State, and every county. These data will be aggregated for use by virtually every segment of American society-farmers and their representative groups, the Congress, Federal agencies, State and local governments, educational institutions, private businesses, and consumer organizations.
Under the statute authorizing this Census, recipients of census questionnaires are required to answer the questions in those questionnaires that apply to them, their families, and their farms to insure the accurate compilation of these statistics. The sole purpose of the Census is to secure general statistical information regarding agriculture and related resources of the country. No person can be harmed in any way by furnishing the information required. The Census has nothing to do with taxation or the enforcement of any National, State, or local law or ordinance. The Census Act expressly provides that there will be no public or private disclosure regarding any person or his affairs. To assure the due protection of the rights and interests of the persons furnishing information, every employee of the Census Bureau is prohibited, under heavy penalty, from disclosing any information that may thus come to his knowledge.
Now, Therefore, I, Gerald R. Ford, President of the United States of America, do hereby declare and make known that under the law it is the duty of every person from whom information is sought in connection with the 1974 Census of Agriculture to reply to the questions in the questionnaire.
Prompt, complete, and accurate responses to all official inquiries made by Census officials are of great importance to our country. Therefore, I ask affected Americans for their full cooperation in the 1974 Census of Agriculture.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of February, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninety-ninth.
GERALD R. FORD