Oil and gas and New Mexico agriculture welcome Census deadline extension

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Mike Smith, Carlsbad Current-Argus
Published 5:14 p.m. MT June 17, 2020


When it comes to improving communities, every person counts.


The New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) and the Permian Strategic Partnership (PSP) welcomed a deadline extension to Oct. 31 of the 2020 Census.

The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic prompted the U.S. Census Bureau to temporarily suspend operations in March, a news release from NMDA said.

NMDA reminded farmers, ranchers and everyone within the agriculture community to respond to the census either online, over the phone, by mail or in person as door-to-door operations have resumed, per the news release.

Tracee Bentley, CEO of PSP, said the extension ensures an accurate count, especially for those residents who live in rural areas and may not receive mail at a traditional home address.

“Additionally, this means that The Permian Counts and other community partners have more time to build upon and continue efforts to raise awareness about the importance of the 2020 Census,” she said.

Conducted every 10 years, the census determines how more than $800 billion in federal funds will be distributed in communities across the nation, per the NMDA release.

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Funding from the census supports multiple functions ranging from roads to the National School Lunch Program, the NMDA release indicated.

Bentley said an accurate count would have great benefits for the Permian Basin.

“Census data helps inform how services like hospitals and emergency response, bridges and road construction, schools and educational programs and even new stores and restaurants are allocated across the country,” she said.

“An accurate count will impact the Permian Basin well into the future, strengthening our communities for the next decade.”

READ: 2020 Census isn’t first for deputy director of Denver-Dallas region

New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte said the Census should take 10 minutes to complete.

“Remember that those 10 minutes will have an impact on the next 10 years,” he said.

“I encourage every farmer, every rancher and everyone in the agriculture industry to stand proud, be counted and complete a census form.”

READ: Latinos responding to 2020 Census at slower rate than US average

Bentley said oil and gas workers should take the time to fill out the census as well.

“We want to remind and emphasize that residents and workers should respond to the census in the place in which they spend 50 or more percent of their time. For many oil field workers, their families may live elsewhere, but they spend the majority of their time in…

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