Happy Agriculture Census! Time has just flown by! While you were struggling to find non-GMO animal feed and trying to preserve your private property the clock has just kept ticking until the middle of December when your very own, up-close and personal, agricultural census was sent in the mail. Maybe you haven’t seen it yet amongst all your holiday greetings but if you haven’t received it, you will.
Three Million Farmers?
But wait! You say, ” I am not a farm!” Well, according to the law you are a farm. A farm is any property that has potential to make $1000 from anything. That’s right! Anything! You may knit or fix cars. Maybe you don’t do anything but sit on your rear and get freebies like your Obama phone, but that doesn’t matter, because you are now an asset of the US government and you have potential to make them money. That is what this massive and intrusive census is all about. It is to collect all the information that they can on you and your assets voluntarily. New this year, the NASS says, there are 3 million farmers in America. In 2005, there only 2 million farms. Since then, due to harsh regulations and agri-business swallowing up all the little guys that number has plummeted. Anyone in farming or ranching can tell you that. So what is with this 3 million farmers? That is you or maybe your neighbor. Not everybody is their partner yet but they hope you can help them change that. This year I tried to give you a sneak preview on what will be hitting your mail box, but for the first time they have a sophisticated verification process online, so you can’t see unless you really take the live census. I didn’t want to go down that rabbit hole.
What do they do with all that information?
They tell you upfront that all employees are sworn to secrecy on your information with high fines and imprisonment should they spill the beans on your private data. What they don’t say is that for years they give the collected data to all agencies and even foreign countries for purposes such as integrating the Unites States with Canada and Mexico into a super-region. Yes, they share their information with almost anyone they can sell it to.
According to the NASS website: NASS’s international projects have covered the globe and a wide array of statistical activities, including:
- Review of existing and development of new sample survey and census programs;
- Development of sampling frames, both area and list;
- Design of more efficient survey samples;
- Testing and implementation of new and improved survey methods;
- Introduction of new methods for analyzing survey data;
- Development of objective crop yield forecasting and estimating programs;
- Consultation on the use of remote sensing technology;(satellite)
- Development of data processing systems; and
- Delivery of short-term seminars and training programs, both in-country and in the U.S.
Can I opt-out?
According to NASS the answer would be a resounding no. They cite “United States law (Title 7, U.S. Code) requires all those who receive a Census report form to respond even if they did not operate a farm or ranch in 2012.” We have covered this extensively on this site. The requirement is that you respond. The only Constitutional thing you need to answer is how many people in your dwelling. After that you can write a polite civil or religious cover letter stating that you do not participate or believe this to be a legitimate census. I have personally used the Religious Objection notification with great success. Since there is a requirement to respond it is not advisable to just throw it in the round can these days. They are just looking for an excuse to extract generous amounts of revenue their way so I would take the template Census Objection and use it or something similar.
One last tidbit is that this year they will be mailing and calling with “special” surveys on particular areas of interest, so be prepared.
Happy Census! And may the odds be ever in your favor……