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Meeting Information

Project Title: Improving Data Collection and Reporting about Agriculture with Increasingly Complex Farm Business Structures

PIN: DBASSE-CNSTAT-15-14         

Major Unit:
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

Sub Unit:
Committee on National Statistics

Mackie, Chris

Subject/Focus Area:
Agriculture; Behavioral and Social Sciences; Surveys and Statistics

Improving Data Collection and Reporting about Agriculture with Increasingly Complex Farm Business Structures
October 31, 2016 - November 1, 2016
National Academy of Sciences Building
2101 Constitution NW
Washington D.C. 20148

If you would like to attend the sessions of this meeting that are open
to the public or need more information please contact:

Contact Name: Michael Siri
Phone: 202-334-3113
Fax: 202-334-3751


National Academy of Sciences Building
2101 Constitution Ave NW
Washington, DC

Day 1: October 31, 2016
Open/Public Sessions, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Room 120

Breakfast available outside meeting room

9 a.m. Welcome, Introductions, Overview of Agenda (30 minutes total)
- Cathy Kling, Chair (10 minutes)
- Connie Citro, Director, Committee on National Statistics (10 minutes)
- Robert Hauser, Director, DBASSE (10 minutes)

9:30 Sponsor’s Welcome
- Catherine Woteki, USDA Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics OR Ann Bartuska, Deputy Undersecretary for REE (5 minutes)
- Renee Picanso, Deputy Administrator, NASS (5 minutes)
- Mary Bohman, Administrator, ERS (5 minutes)

9:45 Sponsor’s Interests and Goals for the Study—to include specific feedback requested by the agencies regarding how to measure the contribution to the sector and economy of complex farms, as well as how to engage with them effectively to gather data.
- Marca Weinberg, ERS, and Barbara Rater, NASS (30 minutes)

10:15 Break

10:30 Discussion of the project Statement of Task, and prioritization of topics
- Panel members' perspectives on the purpose, key topics, and optimal orientation of the study (5 minutes each)
- Response from sponsors and open discussion (30 minutes total)

12:15 Working lunch to continue morning discussions

1:15 Presentations by Statistical Agencies: Goals, programs, key concepts and stakeholders

Overview of NASS—numbers and types of surveys conducted, the portfolio of products/publications created, and the stakeholders who use them. This overview will provide the framework for how complex operations fit into NASS surveys (15 minute presentation, 5 minute Q&A)
- Joe Parsons, NASS

Overview of ERS—data requirements and goals of the agency and description of how the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) fits into the ERS goals and allows the agency to deliver information to stakeholders (15 minute presentation, 5 minute Q&A)
- Marca Weinberg or Jeff Hopkins, ERS

How data are kept on NASS’s list frame—the definition of a farm, and differences between operator, operation, and the Person-Operation Identifier (POID). The presentation will explain why POIDs are the target for most surveys as well as what information on the list frame is used to construct them (20 minute presentation, 10 minute Q&A)
- Mark Apodaca, NASS

How common are complex farms? This question will be answered using common definitions of large/complex farms – including complex based on size (production, sales, land), ownership and value added enterprises, contracting arrangements (both marketing and production), off farm activities including related companies, etc. Where possible, data will be presented from the list frame for items such as the number of operators who are involved in more than one operation, the number of operations with more than one operator, ownership of farming operations by non-farm businesses, etc.
(20 minute presentation, 10 minute Q&A)
- Kathy Ott, NASS, and Jim MacDonald, ERS

3:00 Break

3:15 Presentations by Statistical Agencies: Overview of major survey programs and methods

The Census of Agriculture—data collection and methods for creating estimates (15 minutes)
- Donald Buysse, NASS

The Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS)—data collection, methods for creating estimates, and data uses, with a particular emphasis on how some complex farm information (including income from contracting and income from value added enterprises) is incorporated into the farm sector income accounts (15 minutes)
- Jeff Hopkins, ERS, and Andrew Dau, NASS

Other production surveys—to include data collection and methods for creating estimates, as well as how these differ from Census and ARMS. (15 minutes)
- Jeff Bailey, NASS
Summary of how the various agency surveys and methods are similar and different (15 minutes plus 10 minutes Q&A)
- Linda Young or Jody McDaniel, NASS

NASS/USDA’s Practices Across State Offices: Data collection from large complex farms are currently handled in a decentralized way based on NASS field office assessment of the skewness of data for farms based on size, high number of surveys (burden) for some records, response rate concerns, need for data from operations with large amount of production or inventories for commodities and other data items of interest. (20 min presentation + 10 minute Q&A)
- Jay Johnson or Kevin Barnes, NASS

5:00 Adjourn public session

Day 2: November 1, 2016
Closed Session--panel and staff only, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Room 120

This session is closed in its entirety.

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Meeting

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the meeting:
J. Arbuckle
Richard Dunn
Allen Featherstone
Joe Glauber
Brent Hueth
Ani Katchova
Catherine Kling
Doris Mold
Jean Opsomer
Greg Peterson
Krijn Poppe
Daniel Sumner
Jeremy Weber

The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:
The panel held a bias and conflict of interest discussion, discussed topics from day 1, and reviewed their tasks and timeline.

The following materials (written documents) were made available to the committee in the closed sessions:

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary: July 14, 2017