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Letter Re: 2012 National Agricultural Classification Survey

Mr. Rawles:
Have you all heard about this?  Yesterday I received a 2012 National Agricultural Classification Survey [from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service [1]] in the mail.  They ask 25 nosey questions about how many of each animal we have on our farm i.e. cows, chickens, beehives, turkeys, sheep, goats, horses etc., how much we spend in our “operation” every year, and how much we plan to make this year.  They also ask if we have internet access, how many “operators” are involved in the decision making of our “operation” how many acres we have, how many are pasture land or wooded, do we have greenhouse plants, grain storage and how many animals do we sell each year….and on and on. 
We are told on the first page of the survey that it is required by law to fill out this form, or we will get a phone call or someone will show up at our door (to count our animals themselves?)  This is ridiculous, and I believe it goes against our Constitutional rights.  
My family does not want to send our survey in, as we are not at all interested in allowing the government have this information which they have no right to know.  We only own 10 acres with a few sheep and goats, yet they classify us as a farmstead “operation” and instruct us to fill out the form if we so much as own one animal.  Without a doubt, the USDA is not going to use this information for our good. Either they are going to start taxing for each animal we own to keep us from being able to afford a self-sufficient lifestyle, or they are going to keep track of what we have so that they can take it from us and somehow make us dependent on them.  They have no right to know how prepared we are to support ourselves.   

I think we ought to get this information to anyone who has animals and receives one of these forms. If enough of us refuse to fill out this form it will be a very good thing. 

Thank you so much for what you are doing with Survival Blog. I am a daily reader. – Lydia B. (Age 16)

JWR Replies: The survey’s cover letter is cleverly worded, to conceal the fact that sending in the form is actually voluntary [2]. Just say no to drugs. And just say no to nosey surveys. They are only useful as kindling and bird cage lining.