Purchasing a small acreage brings a little attention apparently. The Department of Agriculture sent me a nice little letter today asking for some information about me and my wife.
It seems the county office of the Farm Services Agency wants to know a little more about me, including, but not limited to my Social Security number (which is not part of the form - the bureaucrat drew a line and wrote "SS # here.")
The parcel I purchased was part of a farming operation which included a father and two sons operating four parcels. (That they combined the other three into one parcel when I know one of those was sold off convinces me that they don't know what they're doing.)
The FSA manages several programs including CRP, the Conservation Reserve Program, where land is idled and a "farmer" gets paid. Sort of like a welfare queen from the inner city. FSA also manages minority programs, works with the Commodity Credit Corporation for money to farmers, even grants through the Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Oh boy, Pennies from Heaven!
I specifically searched for ground that was not in CRP or with soon-to-be-expired contracts. Why? What the government hands you with one hand, the other hand hits you with a club and I want no part in it.
While government handouts are enticing, especially in these times where I could be fired for saying management where I work is a pile of excrement once too many times. It sure would be nice getting money for not doing anything (similar to a couple of co-workers.)
But that would make me a hypocrite wouldn't it? How could I rant against a huge pile of national debt when my hand is in the till?
But what to do with this official government letter (is Comic Sans font professional?) requesting personal information so that an agency that I cannot support will do its damnedest to get me into? I don't give a rip about their crop surveys or grant programs. They can stuff those in their poop chute.
Form FSA-155 "Request for Farm Reconstitution." "Used to list all of the assets on the farm and farmland that a farm borrower possesses when reconstituting their farm." From the Federal code:
"In order to implement agency programs and monitor farmer compliance with regulations, the agency must have records on what land is being farmed by a particular producer. This is accomplished by a determination of what land or groups of land ‘constitute’ an individual unit or farm. ""Compliance," there's that word again.
I'll have to choose my response:
- Ignore it (they won't go away, you know)
- Tell them I don't want their "free" money, advice, or supervision (again, they won't go away)
- Ridicule them enough so that they wouldn't want to go near that "crazy bald a-hole", or eventually get tired of him
Uh, Okay. What's the penalty? The feds won't let me take corn to market next year? Maybe they will add me to the list of people in the War on Farmers. From form 155:
This information maybe provided to other agencies, IRS, Department of Justice, or other State and Federal law enforcement agencies and in response to a court magistrate or administrative tribunal.A tribunal? Cool. Since the helpful bureaucrat filled out the Farm Identifier on the form, I guess by their definition I own a farm. If I don't fill this crap out, I won't get any "free" money that I don't want anyway.
I don't see what the downside is but I guess I'll talk to the little Gruppenführer today - maybe...