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Author Topic: USDA Census harrassment
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  Spencer, IN
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USDA Census harrassment    (Posted Tue, Apr 29 '08 at 07:05 UTC)

Has anyone else been hassled by USDA for refusing/neglecting to fill out their census form?

They kept sending me copies, and I kept throwing them away, because as we increasingly see, USDA fashions its every policy with an eye to promoting the interests of Corporate Ag while squashing small family farms.

In particular, given what we have seen of USDA's lies, deception and coercion in pursuit of their disastrous NAIS policy, I do not trust them to honor their privacy assurances, but rather I expect they will use information from the census to feed into NAIS.

We know that they have lied to the public and to ag organizations about the NAIS policies, e.g. that the program is voluntary when it is in fact coercive, that it will benefit farmers when it would in fact destroy small family farms, etc. They have demanded that vendors of livestock feed require a NAIS "premises id number" or you can't buy feed, in some locales.

NAIS is simply impossible for small, already overworked family farmers to comply with. It would subject anyone keeping any farm animals, even a couple of backyard chickens, to more scrutiny, intrusion and surveillance than a violent felon or convicted pedophile. The record-keeping and reporting requirements are unbelieveable. If the strain of all this added time and labor is not enough to ruin family farms, the fees and potential fines for violating their stupid reporting requirements will finish the job.

So, I told this lady, I am not cooperating with USDA because of their anti-family- farm policies including GAP (see related thread), organic certification (see related thread), and especially NAIS. I told her I did not trust their "privacy" assurances.

She was nice enough but finally said, "I'm not threatening you, but a federal statute requires you to submit this census, and USDA can fine you. You'll be getting letters from the USDA about this."

This is outrageous. We need to be writing our congresspersons about the way USDA is being used to bludgeon family/small farms. We need to build public awareness about what is going on. Let your customers at your Market know, and urge them to talk to local, state, national officials about the desperate need to nurture, rather than impede, community-based agriculture.

I see this situation worsening by the month, as nanny state bureaucrats seem to be crawling out of the woodwork like so many termites. If we don't get active and fight back, we are lost!

 Church Hill
Re: USDA Census harrassment    (Posted Tue, Apr 29 '08 at 08:17 UTC)

Yes, I also was harrassed 3 times. Called the USDA the rep. said they would not enforce the fine. Finally got around to filling it out with several sections labeled "NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS" . What also gets me is they ask for your ethnicity and yet there is no box for JEW??


Re: USDA Census harrassment    (Posted Sun, May 4 '08 at 12:26 UTC)

Yes, I too have been harrassed by the USDA for not wanting to fill out their VERY lengthy survey about pretty much my opinion. I too finally 1/2 filled one of the three they sent me with SOME of the information they needed to know. The rest was none of your business answers.I too was threatened with fines etc. Personally, I was sick of the mailings, letters, and phone calls!!!

In the past I have worked for the state government in Florida, NH and in Ct....all I can say is you really want to screw up ANY program just get the gov't involved!!! Truly the right hand has NO idea what the left is doing!!!!!

Well, here's to a good planting/harvesting season(s), and to heck with the
know nothing/ interfering government.!!

~Christine Moore
Double R Farm (Which stands for REBEL'S RUN ...need I say more????)

Christine Moore
Re: USDA Census harrassment    (Posted Fri, Mar 20 '09 at 01:46 UTC)

If this is the same as we filled out, I believe there was a hefty fine attached if not done, very tempting to just take the fine we can't afford though. My question is how can it be said it is manditory as a census? I think we can imagine how outraged the general public would be if asked the same things and made to answer. Maybe the entire public should be asked, after all, at the farmers markets I've been to most vendors who call themselves farmers are general public backyard gardeners (not that I have a problem with people gardening, but I do think they ought to know how targeted farmers are if farmers markets are to survive...........If I am wrong, ursekta! We have gotten so blleeping many surveys I can't keep them straight anymore.

farm fresh goods from our all natural & chemical free gardens in the heart of Minnesota
Re: USDA Census harrassment    (Posted Sun, Apr 5 '09 at 12:04 UTC)

There are two fines - one if you do not reply to it and another if you provide incorrect information (lie to them). So when I get this I write in bold letters "None of your business" on every page. Then on the last page I write "This is my response and its the truth."

They can try to fine me but I believe I fulfilled the legislated mandates well enough to fight them.

I like the pig manure idea though!

Lisa Wind Dancer Ranch
Re: USDA Census harrassment    (Posted Tue, Aug 3 '10 at 11:14 UTC)

[[they ask for your ethnicity and yet there is no box for JEW??]]

Because the ethnicity is "Hebrew"; "Jew" is a religion.

"Hebrew" would be included in the Arab/Middle Eastern/Asian category.

...sociology grad school includes a whole bunch of demographics and survey methodology.

[[how can it be said it is manditory as a census?]]

Same way the US Census is. Though it's interesting that the US Census is held because the Constitution require the feds to have one every ten years; it does NOT require individual citizens to participate ... though that's how the feds have always interpreted it.

It's like throwing a party. You can be required to throw a party, but is everyone you send an invitation to required to come? Only if the host is a tyrant.

We have all been selected to receive mandatory USDA farms surveys because we claim farm income/loss on our taxes.

I'm tempted to stick a piece of paper in the thing saying: "We have 2 horses; we had 6 sheep on Jan 1, 11 sheep on July 4th and 6 sheep once again on Dec 31; and we have 8 chickens, although the rooster actually belongs to the neighbor and is just banging my 7 hens and sleeps over every night. We sold 5 butchered lambs before the end of the year. Now you can fill it out yourself."

Ross & Jeannie Laura Lane Lambs
 Manson, USA
Re: USDA Census harrassment    (Posted Wed, Mar 27 '13 at 03:28 UTC)

you all should drive down to your states capital and dump manure all over the place....get local & National attention as a protest, I wonder if it would get National coverage? just a thought.......

Daniel W. Carson
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