The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a current need for the conduct and application of survey methodology research to design improvements and/or the redesign of its current surveys. NASS has recently opened a centralized facility for census and survey operations. This center, termed the NASS National Operations Center (NOC), includes centralized telephone data collection, list frame maintenance activities, and processing of survey instruments. The research conducted under this agreement will focus on the factors that impact survey non-response with a particular emphasis on the information useful to data collection in the NOC. As part of the cooperative research, a group of researchers from the University of Michigan Survey Research Center and the University of Maryland Joint Program in Survey Methodology will make recommendations to the USDA on how response rates and data quality might be improved. The research will greatly benefit the USDA in continuing its development of survey instruments and data collection procedures to improve the efficiency and data quality of its survey estimates.