On the first page of the survey, I read these words: Response to this survey is legally required by title 7, U.S. Code., and This is our second request. Please reply within 10 days, and at the top of the page in bold capital letters: DUE BY JANUARY 29, 2007.
I don’t much like it when a government agency that I have never, to my knowledge, ever had any contact with (and don’t care to have any contact with) sends me a form to fill out and informs me that I must respond. And I especially didn’t like the kind of questions they were asking on their three page survey.
They wanted to know how much land I own, how much I rent, how much I rent out. They wanted to know what kind of land it was. How much woodland. How much pasture. How much crop land. They wanted to know if I grow hay or forage crops. If I grew berries. If I grew potatoes. If I grew vegetable or melon crops. They wanted to know the total storage capacity of all structures used to store whole grains or oilseeds.
They wanted to know the largest number of the following animals on hand at any one time: Cattle & calves, goats & kids, horses, ponies, mules, donkeys, burros, sheep & lambs, hogs & pigs, meat chickens, egg chickens, and turkeys.
They wanted to know if I had an aquaculture operation. They wanted to know how many bee colonies I had and how much honey I harvested in 2006.
They wanted to know about any production contracts I had for livestock or poultry that I did not own. They wanted to know the highest number of hired agriculture workers, including paid family members, on the payroll on any one day.They wanted to know the expected gross value of expected sales for the year.
That’s a general overview. I’m sure you get the idea.
If I went to the government agency with my hand out, looking for a grant or some other such form of government enforced wealth redistribution, I could see them asking such intrusive questions. But that isn’t the case. I’ve never done that. I see the taking of taxpayer money, money that someone else earned, as an immoral act. If the government takes my neighbor's money by the force of law and offers it to me, and I take it, I am a willing participant in the crime. If anyone but government did that sort of thing, they would go to prison.
So, since I'm not asking them for a handout, it’s none of the U.S government’s business how many chickens I own or how many vegetables I grow. This survey as a complete and total violation of my privacy
I don’t even have a farm. But that doesn’t make any difference to them:
Your response to the enclosed questionnaire will help us determine your involvement in agriculture. We are asking you to take time to carefully complete the questions and return the form in the enclosed envelope. We need your completed form even though you may not be actively farming, ranching, or conducting any type of agricultural activity.
And they want me to be sure that I return their survey in the enclose envelope with the Bar Code showing through the window.
Well, this is my response to the USDA.....
No. I refuse to answer your wicked little survey. Leave me alone.
Did anyone else out there receive this survey in the mail?