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?
1. Throw it in the trash.
2. If they show up, tell them to go away.
You mus havet a liberal, Saul Alinsky follower as a neighbor that snitched on you.
By the way, DON'T recycle it. You need to sequester carbon (it's for the good of the world!). The best way to sequester carbon is to bury paper in a landfill.
Does it specifically cite what law? If not, pitch it. If so, look it up.
Wow, I’d heard that this was in the offing, but didn’t realize it would actually happen. This absurdity would be great to publicize - sure to engender a backlash. I’ll even tweet to my followers if you want.
You wanta’ do the smart thing? Tell them it’s a farm, show a loss (since you didn’t sell anything or there was a crop failure) then take all the tax deductions. I’m serious. Hey, they started this shit.
Post #2 is exactly what I would do.
Could it be a result of the Obama rural development program? And if land is not being used in what they consider a productive manner, it will be taken away. I don’t know but it sounds pretty sinister to me. I have not received anything like you yet but would not be surprised to get something any day. I do have crops but not all of my land is in production yet. I have under 50 acres total..
To answer your question re: all land having the potential to be cropland etc., the answer is, “NO”. Local government intrusion would disallow you to farm your land. If your home is not in a designated AG/ Res zone, you can’t be a farmer! Tell that to the potential Fed visitor.
—1. Throw it in the trash.
2. If they show up, tell them to go away.—
—The best way to sequester carbon is to bury paper in a landfill.—
I like to soak it in used motor oil before I burn it.
Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!!
Have fun with it — lie all over the place.
Say you are raising space-carrots and jackalopes.
I think they have fined two people in the past 60 years for not filling out the main census (and they were very vocal publicly about not filling it out) and no one has been taken to court on all their auxiliary forms, probably because they don't want the legal requirement to respond tested in court.
What were the other 3 questions?
I could tell them that I heard the previous owner once cultivated the wildwood flower there and I would really appreciate them coming over with the DEA sometime in the early spring to make sure it was eradicated and that no volunteer plants came up before I planted.
crops in my garden.....
illegal alien turnips
Affirmative action preventer flowers
I’d answer “No” to the question about whether your land has the potential for agricultural production. Don’t overthink the question. Yes, in theory any land could be used for agricultural production, but if the land isn’t in production, that’s because it’s just not practical—you couldn’t earn enough money from growing to justify bulldozing a building. You’re just growing a few veggies, not actually farming.
Just Say No and they’ll leave you alone. For the moment.
You are correct. Man, I had one hell of a loss last year because of the drought and then there was all of that rain in one month, then the damned wild hogs came in and dug up half of what I had growing. Such damage that I lost berry bushes that had been growing for ten years, probably thousands in damage losses. My tax return is going to show huge losses this year, maybe it looks like.
Can you post a PDF of the questions....so other FReepers can be forewarned of the contents....and can get it widely distributed...thanks.
How does your garden grow? ping.
Did you go to the NASS website, to get more info?
If the penalty is that you ‘may’ be personally visited then just ignore it. You can deal with the visit when and if it happens. Once upon a time I would have thought that the request was to establish a baseline for funding county extension and agricultural services. These days it seems more likely to be an attempt to identify domestic terrorists engaged in unauthorized food production. John Galt wouldn’t have a mailbox; but if he were handed the form, he would shred it to use as mulch on his garden.
Only filled out stuff that was Constitutional...
We live in a “minority-majority” district in my county which is designated by the 196? Voting Rights Act so the color of my skin is pretty important around here.
I didn’t identify race of the occupants here but they sent out a census worker anyway so voila, they got my race down and could assume the other two’s race...
Complete crap and Big Brother intrusion...
Fight the MAN and burn it!!!!!!
I ignored the American Community Survey and the Census. I did have someone stop by for the Census... I figured I’d make at least 1 federal employee work for the paycheck!
I like the advice to look up the law if it is stated on the survey form. Make sure what you are answering, especially if considering lying. I remember some rumblings about this in the past in that backyard gardens would be illegal? This does sound rather sinister.
Let us know how it all works out!
I do own a farm, as well as have a garden so it will be interesting to see if I get one of these.
Did you have any agricultural revenue?
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?
Step 1) Fill the survey out in painstaking detail. Spare no expense in making sure of the complete accuracy, Take a photograph, making sure the details cannot be read well.
Step 2) Take the survey out back, and use it as a target for the following firearms: Ruger 10/22. Glock Model 34. M-1 Garand. Take a photograph.
Step 3) Bring the tattered survey back to the house. Douse with gasoline. Burn it. Take a photograph.
Step 4) Bring the ashes to the back yard. Dig a hole, putting the ashes in it. Take a photograph. Fill the hole in.
Step 5) If anyone comes to ask you about the survey, show them the pictures you took in Step 1-4).
You gotta be the right color, the right sex, the right ethnicity and right religion or be an atheist and the right political party. If any of the above, they will likely give you a half million to grow wildflowers and double that if you are trans-gender/bi-sexual.
Burn it and mix the ashes with your compost. If they inquire again, just say you never received such a document and next time they should try Registered Mail requesting a delivery receipt.
Have not decided what to do yet, but when they tell me I MUST respond it rubs my fur backwards right off.
I might just write “see amendment 5 in the US Constitution”.
“Survey? What survey”
Does the Ag Dept have a SWAT team yet?
I have a question. What can you grow in TX on less than 50 acres? That is less than half a quarter.
I’m not being snarky, I am seriously wondering what crop would be profitable at that small scale that would grow in TX.
We are up in Corn/Wheat/Soy country and the smallest farms around here are still over 160 acres and most of those are rented out to larger farms. Our yard at the farm was 80 acres (and we also had livestock and one of the first aquafarms in the country).
Return this note to them, along with blank survey:
My family garden is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!
Please note the trespass warnings posted on my property.
>>2. If they show up, tell them to go away.
>Does the Ag Dept have a SWAT team yet?
Does it matter?
“Mail? What mail?”
Say you are raising space-carrots and jackalopes.
- - - - \
ROFL. You just made my day, Freedumb.
Tell ‘em you were raising pigs but the man shut you down and then demand your $50,000.
I certainly cannot nor would not tell you what to do.
I will say, if I received this or anything similar that did not reference the actual law, it would reach the trash can in 1.2 seconds.
The KGB always liked to intimidate the population. Sounds very familiar.
"Title 7 of the U.S. Code and CIPSEA (Public Law 107-347)" are mentioned with regard to confidentiality. I do not see a mention of the specific law that requires my response.
I think most departments do. Even NOAA has one!
Agreed. Feel free.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) was established by Secretary's Memorandum No. 1446, Supplement 1, of April 3, 1961, under Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953 and other authorities. The mission of the agency is to provide timely, accurate, and useful statistics in service to U.S. agriculture.
The statistical data provided by NASS are essential to the public and private sectors for making effective policy, production, and marketing decisions on a wide range of agricultural commodities. Every 5 years the Census of Agriculture provides comprehensive national, State, and county data as well as selected data for Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S., Virgin Islands, and Northern Mariana Islands. The USDA published its first crop report in 1863. NASS responsibilities are authorized under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1621-1627) and the Census of Agriculture Act of 1997, Public Law 105-113 (7 U.S.C. 2204g).
Agricultural Estimates Program NASS field offices regularly survey thousands of operators of farms, ranches, and agribusinesses who provide information on a confidential basis. These scientifically-designed surveys provide the basis for developing estimates of production, supply, price, and other aspects of the agricultural economy. Official USDA national, State, and county estimates and reports are issued relating to the number of farms and land in farms; acreage, types, and production of farm crops; number of livestock on farms and of livestock products; stocks of agricultural commodities; value and utilization of farm products; farm labor; prices received and paid by farmers; agricultural chemical use; and on other subjects as needed. The field offices forward the estimates to NASS headquarters where they are combined and released at scheduled times to the press and public through the Agricultural Statistics Board. Annually, NASS publishes approximately 500 national reports and thousands of additional state reports, covering more than 120 crops and 45 livestock items. These basic and unbiased data are necessary to maintain an orderly association between the consumption, supply, marketing, and input sectors of agriculture.
Census of Agriculture The Census of Agriculture is taken every 5 years and provides comprehensive data on the agricultural economy, including data on the number of farms, land use, production expenses, value of land and buildings, farm size and characteristics of farm operators, market value of agricultural production sold, acreage of major crops, inventory of livestock and poultry, and farm irrigation practices. Final preparations are underway for the 2012 Census of Agriculture, scheduled to be mailed to the Nations farmers and ranchers in December 2013.