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USDA, NASS, Montana Field Office

National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is a USDA agency, which collects agricultural information through a broad program of sample surveys conducted throughout the year. NASS has 46 Field Offices representing the states and Puerto Rico. State departments of agriculture support NASS with cooperative agreements, which are the foundation of surveys.

The USDA, NASS, Montana Field Office is located in Helena and has 8 federal and 2 state employees. It is the main agricultural data-gathering agency in Montana. The Montana Field Office collects, compiles, and publishes current agricultural statistics. Its primary goal is to provide farmers, ranchers, and the public with unbiased and reliable state and county-level information to assist in production and marketing decisions. In addition to farmers and ranchers, other data users include farm organizations, agribusinesses, transportation firms, state and national policy makers, and foreign buyers of agricultural products.

NASS contracts with the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) to hire enumerators for data collection. The Montana Field Office is a national data collection center for NASS and employs approximately 156 part-time telephone enumerators who collect survey information from respondents in Montana and across the country. Additionally, the Field Office has approximately 40 part-time field enumerators located throughout the state who conduct personal interviews with Montana farmers and ranchers.

Once the data is collected, analyzed, and summarized by the USDA, NASS, Montana Field Office, it is submitted to national headquarters in Washington, D.C. Commodity experts review all state recommendations and issue state and national estimates to the public on scheduled release dates throughout the year. Cooperative agreements with state governments and industry provide for additional estimates to be made at the state and/or county level for some commodities.

Last Modified: 02/12/2018