Skip to comments.Fedzilla is demanding I complete a 4-page survey ... about my garden! (vanity)
Posted on 01/06/2012 8:50:18 AM PST by matt1234
Are you ready for the vegetable census? Yesterday I received the 2012 National Agricultural Classification Survey from the US Dept. of Agriculture. It was accompanied by a cover letter stating (in large, bold font) that my response is required by law; and, if I do not reply, I may be personally visited. I am not and have never been a farmer or rancher. My land has never been farmed or ranched. I do, however, have a vegetable garden that I built in 2009. This garden is private and noncommercial. There is no illegal activity whatsoever on my property.
The survey is 4 pages consisting of dozens of questions. Among the pressing concerns of the USDA are the gender and ethnic origin of my operators. (I have none.)
I have no idea how I appeared on the USDAs radar. Possibilities are aerial surveillance or monitoring of seed purchases.
In full disclosure, the survey states that a recipient can opt out of the main portion of the survey if he answers No to the first four questions. However, the way they are written, it seems impossible for a landowner or renter to answer No. For example, one of these questions is Do you own, rent, or operate cropland, pastureland, or land with the potential for agricultural production? Ponder that. Doesnt all land have the potential for agricultural production? If so, a landowner or renter cannot answer No and thereby opt out. (Even a lot covered completely by a building has the potential for agricultural production because you can grow food on the roof or windowsills, or you can tear down the building.) So, the way I read this, if you own or rent land, you cannot opt out. Moreover, according to another of the first four questions, if you own one or more livestock animals, even a chicken or a horse, you cannot opt out.
This survey is patently absurd, in my case as a simple gardener, and in EVERY case, as evidenced by the surveys language described in the preceding paragraph.
Questions to fellow FReepers:
1. Does anyone have experience with this survey?
2. Any suggestions about my course of action?
3. What would John Galt do?
From Pravda in 2008: Famine killed 7 million people in USA
It doesn't seem to be so much an old Soviet Union play as a "New" Russia play to excuse the Ukrainian Holodomor at the same time with a tu quoque argument.
In 2008, Russia Today published an article by Russian historian Boris Borisov in which he argued that the condemnation of the Holodomor by the U.S. House of Representatives was unjustified, that the number of victims were exaggerated by sloppy analytical methods and that the accusations of intentional causation of the famine were politically motivated and not based on fact. He argued that if the same methods used by researchers of Holodomor were applied to the Great Depression, it would lead to the conclusion of "seven to eight millions of American victims of the man-made catastrophe" in the same post-1929 era. The article further compared the policies of presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt with the policies of Stalin and the New Deal Public Works Administration with the communist Gulag.
I’m getting a huge laugh out of the humorous/facitious answers to your question!
But as you’ve acknowledged, matt1234, the info in post #28 has good details from others who’ve received the form.
I’ve never received this myself, tho certainly folks in my area must. Gotta go with ottbmare’s #20 in advising you not to overthink it. Do you envision yourself mass-production factory farming on that spot? ‘Cause that’s how I read it. So ‘no’ to question one.
Now me, I’d ignore the thing altogether. If followed up in person: “You’re threatening legal action over that? Preposterous! I thought it was a scam and threw it away! Still do.”
Which is the position I’d stick with if they push.
Look at how low-key the face to face confrontation was handled by JustaDumbBlonde (not!) in #109. Nothing personal, no need to take it out on the contractor dispatched to your home. Just a polite refusal that doesn’t stand out from all the other refusals they surely must get.
Last census, I got a door knocker. Informed up front that I would answer only the single Constitutionally required question, she made a half-hearted attempt at getting my answers to the rest of the short form. Nothing I could do to hide my race, but we went thru the motions so she could feel like she was earning the paycheck honest. I chuckled all the way thru and we parted on a friendly enough note.
Oh, and as to how you were chosen to receive this survey in the first place? There’s little trust in the gov’t in this house, but paranoia should be tempered by the amount of scam mails that come bearing tidings of one’s having been chosen due to some special, unlisted trait to qualify for “this rare offering.” As possible as any of the other theiories, your address may have been plucked by a computer from a particular demographic area.
Remember the big swine flu panic a couple of years ago? Apparently my unlisted, nonpublished, never-divulged phone number was conjured by a computer and printed on a CDC phone survey call list. As I later learned from CDC’s website, they were checking pubhlic perceptions to the flu panic & availability or not of vaccinations. The callers didn’t have a clue who I was, but by God and by damn my number was on THE LIST and I was downright expected to comply with their questionare. That is, until I came up with the magic words, “Add my number to your Do Not Call List, and immediately ceast and desist calling me.” The guy tried to argue but I refused the bait & hung up. That’s when the calls stopped.
No I don’t but from what I have read some time back after the WTC2001 crap every federal department was given a SWAT team to be at their disposal.
Things will get ugly.
Right. You drop in on somebody’s home, you gotta be ready to get hustled out. That it was done politely did not provoke her into marking you for more a more invasive meeting later, I assume.
I think my mood upon contact, and especially being taken by surprise, would determine my taking visible umbrage or polite misdirection. Some intrusions almost demand an offended and offensive response, even tho it renders bad consequences. On my home territory I’m sort of a grizzly bear.
There are small crops which can be grown which are quite profitable on less than 50 acres, even 20 acres such as various berries and fruit. Watermelons, cucumbers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and so forth are pretty good money crops. The keys are good soil and good water. They are not crops which will make millions but they can make for a comfortable life. But the wild hogs are a huge problem in this part of the country causing enormous economic losses. Efforts to control them have been virtually useless because they breed so fast and so numerous.
Thanks for the info. Up here berries and such are garden items not crops.
Are the hogs considered varmints? Is it open season or restricted.
With a small operation such as we have, not much is required in the way of large equipment which is needed in the type of farm you operate. Nor do we have to hire much help. Expenses are low as a ratio to income.
Always open season on feral hogs.
Load up on ammo and go varmit hunting. Equipment expense for our crops are outrageous (250k minimum for just a tractor or combine). When my mom was little we had about 20 hired hands, now we have one. The changes in technology and equipment have made it much more efficient.
For example, if I choose to grow an orange tree on my property, the feds will argue that by growing oranges for my own personal use, I am foregoing purchasing oranges from Florida at my local grocery store, thereby impacting interstate commerce by reducing the demand of oranges from Florida.
To the feds, that makes my orange tree a part of interstate commerce.
Now, Florida does not have a right to a permanent, flourishing market for its oranges, but a good central planning czar might think there is some potential overriding interest in sustaining the Florida orange market, and therefore make my personal growth of oranges illegal.
Either that, or they will deem my personal orange supply to be "Cadillac oranges," and mandate that I purchase a certain amount of Florida oranges anyway, to preserve the national Florida orange market.
They'll say that it's not fair that so many people are growing their own oranges, and if the Florida orange market collapses due to low demand or unregulated competition, the inner city poor and minorities won't have their fair share of oranges.
Are you referring to takings or protection from self-incrimination?
In California, they recently made it legal for police officers to "inspect" ones cell phone during a traffic stop, and not needing a search warrant to inspect. The natural response is to password protect the cell phone and then let the police "inspect" the locked device to their heart's content. They can turn it on, open the back, look at the battery, but they cannot view the contents without the password.
If I'm ever in a situation where a police officer asks to inspect my cell phone during a traffic stop, I will gladly hand over the phone, but if asked for the password I will refuse on 5th amendment grounds of self-incrimination. Without a warrant describing the probable cause for the search, what they're looking for, and where they are looking for it, anything else is just a fishing expedition and I can't be compelled to provide incriminating information. Handing over my password would be setting myself up for whatever the police might be trying to do.
I'm wondering if these surveys that have no rational basis for being sent can also be argued to be a fishing expedition where no probable cause exists, and to answer them would be de facto self-incrimination if the federal government then goes on to harass you with the information that you provided.
I would think so. Unfortunately my default position has become not to talk to government employees, dog catcher, cops, tax man, whoever. No good can come from it.
I am on the mailing lists of several seed companies, and I haven’t yet gotten a letter like that.
Are they looking at vegetables grown directly in the ground or are they including the potted tomato plant on the patio?
We used to grow tobacco on ten acres and that was plenty of work (and a good income), but it was closer to the Mason-Dixon Line, too. Look into medicinal herbs used in supplements and other niche crops that will grow in your area. A lot will depend on your soil and climate conditions there.
Our little farm is bordered on three sides by a farm/ranch that is several thousand acres which is about 20 miles long and several miles wide. They grow a variety of crops, cattle, horses and elk. Everything is relative with the theory of diminishing returns or whatever it is that drives us.
I don't think I'd bet my life, livelihood or future on that.
My Social Security card says "NOT FOR IDENTIFICATION PURPOSES" (in caps) on it, and that sure has changed.
'Guide' wild hog hunts.
Turn those lemons into lemonade and save the crops, too!
We know someone who also received the survey. I'm wondering if it was sent because they have an ag exemption on their property taxes.
Anyway, I did a little research and found this.
I noticed in the comments below the article that the fine for not completing the survey is $100, but the fine for supplying false information is $500. One poster claims that no fines have been issued, but the article is from 2007.
I'm unsure what the people we know will do with the survey. They haven't decided yet. They are wondering why the requested info is ANY of the gov's business!
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