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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday I received a letter in the mail from the USDA, NASS-Indiana Field Office at Purdue. It asked some statistical information dealing with my production and financial information, too.
Has anyone else received this?
It is not sitting well with me. There is an insert telling me that if they do not receive a response from me, then somebody will be calling me to "help complete the survey at that time". The form ends with a notation stating that a person is not required to repond...unless the form displays an OMB number. Then it gives an OMB number.
While I find agriculture statisitics to be valuable, the tone of this thing irks me. And I don't really like the idea of my dollars and cents info floating around out there for some federal beaurocrat to see.
So...if anyone else has received such a thing, I would like to hear your thoughts.
Thanks.
Barry
 

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I have received that the last several years. I have been told to just throw it away and that is what I did last year. They did call me and I did not answer all there questions when they did call. I, like you, find some of the statistics invaluable but I to do not want my financial info floating around out in bureaucrat land. To me that is where they cross the line.
 

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I get this every year. And so will you, once you participate. Tell them you don't want to participate and see what happens. The info is confidential and not available toanyone else. But I know what you mean.
 

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I have received it for several years. I suspect because I have my hives registered in Washington. I have filled it out and then they send me the results of the study.

I will say that I don't have a problem with privacy issues that many people seem concerned about. ....maybe because I grew up with party line (that's telephone talk for the young in this forum) and in a small town where everyone knew what you did, when you did it and why you did it. I think that we had about 5 families on our party line. Our first phone number was 673 and our address was just our name, town, state.
 

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I get the govm't survey every year and have been visited by "govm't helpers",
they don't know xxxx from shinola. I finally said 'enough questions' and they left. I still get their annual form and I send it back with the notation that I don't have the time to fill out forms. Generally I write on the front of the form
in a bold Sharpie to stop this bull
Some of their questions were just plain. silly and a waste of time.
Just wait till you get the latest census form! :eek:
I understand it's gonna be a dooosie!
 

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When I get the phone call, I always ask the person if they mind if I lie to them, because I don't have the info that they want recorded anywhere and I have to estimate and guess at it from the top of my head. It has never been a problem.

What bothers me most, but not that much, is that Government reports and programs are based on this data. So, if anyone trys to say anything based on reports like mine, I know it is flawed.
 

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Apart from some ARS research the USDA has done nothing for the honeybee industry.

I refuse to provide any information about my honey crop or anything to the USDA even the farm census which supposedly is mandated by law.

The USDA is geared for supplying subsidies and loans to commodity row crops and the livestock and poultry industry.

Its absolutely shameful that the farm welfare program has not been shut down.
 

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Its just one more way of the goverment to get their nose in to your your life. I don't see them wanting you register your horse or pigs or chickens.
 

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Honeydreams,

The national animal identification program run by your ever helpfull govm't
will solve that for you. Remember the mad cow episodes? The bureaucrats
always try to help you... to run your own life for your benefit of course!:scratch:
 

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The suspicion and lack of co-operation in this thread is doubled among the bigger bee men. that's one reason why it's taken so long to get a handle on CCD. How could we know anything about how bees are doing without data? If it doesn't come from you...where will it come from?


Dickm
 

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Discussion Starter #11
...and I'm also wondering....how has my name and information come to be on the rosters of the USDA? I don't recall ever communicating with them.
I don't think there were any questions on the forms about CCD...just production, dollars, etc.
 

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Well folks, I'm the guy who sends out that survey in one state and I can "guarantee" that your information never leaves NASS. Each year, every person working for NASS at headquarters and in each of the field offices signs a confidentiality certification stating that survey information must not be compromised. Any offender would receive severe punishment of up to a $10,000 fine and/or 10 years in prison. Frankly, your information isn't worth that risk.

If USDA didn't collect that information, you wouldn't have any idea about supplies, stocks or price - except what your buyer might tell you. Who is he looking out for? Also, if this data weren't available, you probably wouldn't have a USDA program for compensation of bee and honey losses. How would they know?

It's generally considered worth your time to report.
 

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Isiah,
Can you copy and post one of those surveys for us all to see? Or any one that has recieved one? If the survey consists of beekeeping industry stats like number of colonies, Lbs. of honey per colony produced( not sold), avg price your honey is selling for(not how much did you sell), What % of your colonies died and if they were winter or summer loss, etc I would have no problem filling one out. As soon as the survey starts asking personal financial questions then I too would throw it in the trash.
 

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I agree with dickm. I was once in the Honey loan program. I filed the report every year as correctly as possible. It is the only way for USDA to feel the pulse of the bee industry.
 

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I got mine in the mail today. By state, it wants to know how many colonies you have for any purpose, how many you pulled honey from and the total pounds you pulled while in each state. How many pounds do you still have for sale today.

Then by honey class how many pounds and total price (before deducting for transportation, containers, grading, marketing) did you sell to cooperatives, private processing companies, wholesale (to grocery, etc.), and retail. They also want to know how many pounds (and gross dollars) that you harvested in 2008 that you sold in 2009 in the above classes.

For me as a hobby beekeeper the hardest part is whether my honey is extra light amber or light amber (so I guess). I have never known where to get a chart or guide on how to know.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well, I filled my form out and mailed it in. I felt kind of silly being just a backyard hobby beekeeper. Still curious how they got my name and address. And why just now? I started doing this in '84!
 

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Our first phone number was 673 and our address was just our name, town, state.
It was just over ten years ago that our town went from 4 digit dialing to 10 digit. We never had 7 digit dialing as they were all long distance and required a 1. You can still get something to us by sending it to our last name, town and state. We're the only ones in our PO by our last name and know our post master personally. He's also our voluteer fire chief. I'm not sure what that all has to do with government forms.

I'm generally distrustful of the government and their meddling in our affairs. It seems to me that they screw up everything they touch. A good case in point would be the federal dept of education, incepted in 1976 by Jimmy Carter as a favor to the teachers unions for their support. Since 1976 the quality of education has done nothing but go down. The same is true about the USDA, FSIS and SCS. They seem to have very good intentions but almost all of their policies have many unintended consequences that do the opposite of their good intentions. They also don't seem to take criticism very well and have a track record of abusing their power. If I received the form it would enjoy its trip through my shredder.
 

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I've reviewed my survey a couple times and the only thing I see they are getting from this survey is a double check for your finance/tax statements. How much stock I have and how much honey money I made does nothing to help anyone other than the Tax Man.
 
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