Tuesday, January 10, 2012

This is America?

Yesterday we received a survey in the mail…the USDA’s 2012 National Agricultural Classification Survey.

Our response is “required by law” and if we fail to turn in our survey, they threaten to call us or show up at our doorstep (to count our animals themselves?) 

Here’s the Survey:

Since Jan. 2011

·        Did you have any agricultural revenue?
(Include any crop sales and sales of livestock or other products, fish and other aquaculture.)

·        Did you own, rent or operate cropland, pastureland, and land with the potential for agricultural production?

·        Did you have or sell any type of livestock, including equine, poultry, or fowl, bees or aquaculture?

·        Did you receive any Federal or State agricultural payments?

If you answered NO to all of the questions above, write a note on the front page indicating you are not farming and RETURN the questionnaire so we may update our records.  If you answered YES to ANY of the above questions, please continue to the next page.

How many acres does this operation:
a.      Own
b.      Rent or lease from others or use rent free?
c.      Rented or leased to others

2. Total acres operated (items a+b-c)
3. Of the total acres operated, how many are in permanent pasture, woodland pastured, and rangeland?

4. Of the total acres operated, how many acres are in the (CRP), (WRP), (FWP), or (CREP)? 
5. Of the total acres operated, how many acres are considered cropland?
6. Of the total cropland acres, who many are used to produce:

a.      any hay or forage crops on this operation?
b.      Any fruit, nut, berry crops on this operation?
c.      Any vegetable or melon crops on this operation?
d.      All other cropland acres on this operation?
e.      Any nursery, greenhouse, floriculture crops, or aquatic plants on this operation?

7. What is the total storage capacity of all structures normally used to store whole grains or oilseed on the total acres operated?

8.      During the past 12 months, what was the largest number of the following livestock on hand at any one time?  ) Include animals of any age, including newborns.)
a.      All cattle and calves, regardless of ownership
b.      All hogs and pigs owned by this operation, regardless of location?
c.      All sheep and lambs owned by this operation, regardless of location?
d.      All goats and kids owned by this operation, regardless of location?
e.      All horses, ponies, mules, donkeys, or burros, regardless of ownership?   

9.      Report any chickens on the total acres operated during the past 12 months, regardless of ownership.
a.      What was the largest number at any one tome of broilers, fryers, capons, roasters, and other chickens being raised for meet production during the past year?
b.      Largest number of layers, pullets, and roosters for laying flock at any one time?
c.      What was the primary type of layer/pullet?
1.      Table Egg  2. Egg Type Hatchery  3. Broiler Type Hatchery  4.Pullets for Laying Flock

10. During the past 12 months, how many total turkeys were raised on the total acres operated, regardless of ownership?

11. During the past 12 months, did you or anyone else have any aquaculture on this operation? (Include any aquatic plants.)
12. During the past 12 months, what was the largest number of colonies of bees owned by this operation regardless of location?

They go on to ask what our expenses were for this “operation” last year, what we expect to make this year, whether we have access to internet and high-speed internet at either at our “operation” location or at our home, if we have any paid employees, how many individuals we have involved in the day-to-day decision making of our “operation”, how many women operators, whether any of the operators are Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino origin, what is our race, and the ages, sex, and names of up to 3 main operators. 

This made me really mad.  The USDA has no right to “require” that we turn in our survey, or to come trespassing on our property.  Either they are trying to get these statistics to help them put a tax on each of our animals to make it too expensive to live self-sufficiently, or they are counting up what resources we have for them to distribute it to people who are sitting on their backsides watching TV all day and voting themselves handouts instead of getting a job. 

One thing is for sure, this survey has nothing to do with having neat statistics to look at online; it’s all about regulating and taxing us into government dependency.  
My advice to anyone who receives this garbage in the mail…don’t cooperate like sheep to a slaughter.  Use your form for something that will actually do you and your family some good…start yourself a nice fire in the woodstove with it. 

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