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Does anybody have any info. on this thing?

I received a paper copy from the National Agricultural Statistics Service which asks that I answer several questions about my acreage, livestock, sales, labor and so on; it even has a specific bee question. I've not seen one of these before and my cursory search of the innerwebs didn't yield any conclusive information, not even the usual "Ah hate the gubmint" pages.

I'm a bit of a cynic and not inclined to share information without obligation or some benefit in return. Any input?
 

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Does anybody have any info. on this thing?
I'm a bit of a cynic and not inclined to share information without obligation or some benefit in return. Any input?
We had a NASS rep come to one of our State Association meetings last year. She explained that one of her responsibilities was providing estimates on the number of colonies kept in the State. She said she had basically no data on which to make her estimate, and so her estimate was around 7000 colonies for the State of Indiana. We did a quick count of those in the room - less than 100 of us - and there were over 13,000 colonies. Based on what we know about local beekeeping clubs, there are thousands of beekeepers in Indiana, so the actual number of colonies is obviously much higher.

If you're wondering about what benefit there may be, it's basically political. If you want the government - State or Federal - to pay attention to the concerns of beekeeping, numbers count. Are the federally-sponsored Bee Labs important? Should the gov't sponsor research into things like CCD? Does your State have an Apiary Inspector or Department? Funding for things like this is dependent on the government's perception of importance. Is beekeeping a critical factor in agriculture, or just a small niche?

So it's a choice: I don't like the idea of reporting to any gov't agency, but I figure they're gonna waste money anyway, they might as well spend some on bees.
 

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The 2010 National Agricultural Classification Survey is a screening instrument used by NASS to determine if someone qualifies as a farm for the Census of Agriculture. It is mailed periodically to groups of names collected from many different sources associated with agriculture but has no information associated with which to make a determination. People who respond will recieve an agricultural census form in 2013 (for the 2012 census).

Census information has many uses beneficial to farmers (and beekeepers) e.g. extension dollars are allocated to counties based on farm numbers, Emergency Assistance Progam for lost colonies, disaster assistance payments, crop insurance programs. etc.
 
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