Category Archives: Food, Freedom…Or Not!

“IF PEOPLE LET THE GOVERNMENT DECIDE WHAT FOODS THEY EAT AND WHAT MEDICINES THEY TAKE, THEIR BODIES WILL SOON BE IN AS SORRY A STATE AS THE SOULS OF THOSE WHO LIVE UNDER TYRANNY.”THOMAS JEFFERSON

The Untold Story of Milk: The History, Politics and Science of Nature's Perfect Food; Raw Milk From Pasture-Fed Cows by Ron Schmid

The Untold Story of Milk: The History, Politics and Science of Nature’s Perfect Food; Raw Milk From Pasture-Fed Cows. By Ron Schmid.

“”Open and fair-minded officials need to learn that raw milk from healthy animals, carefully produced and handled, simply does not cause disease”. – Ron Schmid

“If we are not even free anymore to decide something as basic as what we wish to eat or drink, how much freedom do we really have left?”. – Ron Paul

See a Video Clip and “The Pursuit of Food Freedom” by Joel Salatin HERE

The Gelded Rooster, Or The Saga of The Backyard Chicken, Continued…

The City Council of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, in their beneficent and all-knowing considerations, have formally and unanimously agreed to approve an ordinance that will allow town residents to keep backyard chickens. Well almost, because after a year and more of deliberations on this most troublesome bird, the final verdict will come down after a second reading at yet another council meeting later this month.

Who knew that chicken keeping was so complicated? Obviously not the keepers of the birds, who in some cases have done so for many years, without issue or complaint. One would not normally consider it an issue of front page news, nor see it so hotly debated. The times they are a changing, I suppose.

The law would allow for the possession of up to 6 hens for the production of eggs and meat, and would be allowed only on single family lots of a certain minimum size, in the older part of town. Chickens would not be allowed in most subdivisions, because they generally already have rules in place prohibiting the admission of livestock. Roosters would not be allowed in any part of the city.

Still, a year plus more seems like a long time to fully “vet” the full concerns and side issues of such a proposition. After all, how long does it take for the planning and zoning commission to make its recommendation, or to document the concerns of Colorado Parks And Wildlife regarding the impacts of urban chickens?

In this case the possibility of a citywide election was discussed, and they listened to the voices of concerned citizens, for and against. They heard the opinion and discussion from the Glenwood Springs Poultry Club, who started the ruckus in the first place. They discussed the proper penalties for non-compliance, which remain unclear. They put in place a provision for warnings to be issued in that event, which will no doubt occur.  It was also mentioned that chicken keeping is considered a privilege, and not a right, and made it known that privileges can be revoked. Apparently, no one gathered testimony of the chickens, or asked for their counsel.

In the end, the ordinance allows in-city residents to obtain a permit, the cost of which will be based on an accounting of staff time involved. Chicken coops must be built to comply with certain codes and standards, and are subject to inspection. All coops must be equipped with electric fencing in an effort to deter bears, mountain lions, foxes, and otherwise hungry people. And you would not want to let the general public and its unsuspecting citizens get too close, lest they be attacked by an enraged and murderous chicken, desperate for escape.

So there you have it. Another shining example of government at it’s best, taking a perfectly innocent and hopeful endeavor and caging it in multiple layers of bureaucratic jargon and micro managed stupidity. Odds are, they really don’t know much about a chicken either.

It is, of course, all so perfectly planned. Control of the food supply is a classic strategy used to tame all common people for millenia. It is used to divide, threaten, and conquer. The game is all about inventory, and control. It is misdirection by application, and permit. Approval, and command. Compliance, or penalty. The issue just happens to be about poultry, this time.

As for those aforementioned penalties, I have a suggestion. Why go half way? Why bother to warn or coddle the violator to obtain compliance? Off to the stockade, I say, in irons, for good measure. Or better yet, let us yoke the neck and wrists to the pillory in the public square. We deserve its full effects of pain and humiliation for allowing such a travesty to proceed.

These types of decisions continue to occur in all parts of the country, and the world. It would be sadly funny, if it were not all so true. It will continue, until we stop it. The future of private property rights, and our personal liberty, depends on it.

While we hesitate, the smiling benefactors allow some small permissions, but in the end only they have won. The cuckholds and chicken people gain little, and grow weaker and more contained with each turn of the perpetual hamster wheel. Our resignation and powerlessness grow more obvious with each silent and roosterless morning.

It’s better for the rooster anyway. He is by nature a proud and brave-hearted creature, and prefers to retain his private parts, and his voice. Meanwhile, the founding fathers of America, many of whom were farmers themselves, weep big crocodile tears for the daftness of our deeds. They marvel at our apathy, and cry for our sins, for they know not what else to do.

See Also Permissions To Come, Or The Saga of The Backyard Chicken

Michael Patrick McCarty

Permissions To Come, Or the Saga of The Backyard Chicken

Market Scene

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? It is a heady and perplexing question, to be sure. Like the classical philosophers of old, I do not have an acceptable answer, either. I’m not even going to try.

However, for more and more people across this land, a more appropriate and timely question has evolved. They now ask themselves if perhaps they should acquire some chickens, which could provide some tasty eggs for their morning breakfast. People are now looking at their backyards with fresh eyes, searching for a handy and level spot to erect that new chicken coop. Unfortunately, the next question becomes all to prominent and leaps to center stage. “Is it legal, they ask”? Now there’s a question! Again, it is also not so easy to answer in simple terms. This can of worms is large, and it holds more slithering things than your well-tended compost pile.

For lack of a better term, the backyard chicken movement is exploding across the country, much to the chagrin of local jurisdictions and the faceless bureaucratic machine. It is a suburban, and increasingly urban phenomena. Well informed citizens are demanding high quality, locally grown food. Imagine that! The local food movement continues to gain momentum, with more followers and practitioners every day. It’s a national issue now, and it is not going away anytime soon. But it starts on the local level, and chickens are a big part of it.

For example, the city council of a small town near me, recently voted to consider new draft code provisions relating to chickens within the city limits and residential neighborhoods. Apparently, it is currently illegal to keep a chicken. Who knew? Well, several of the residents who testified did not. They had been keeping chickens for years, without issue. No one had bothered to discuss it with them. For some unexplained reason, it was time to come out of the chicken closet. They now wished to tend to their birds legally, with favor, and approval.

The city council was quick to state that it was a  land use matter, and as such, falls within their purview. It’s all about zoning, you see, and it’s not about how you live, but where you live. It’s all about proper consideration, and planning. It’s about rules and regulation, and lawful ordinance. It’s about monitoring and control, enforcement, and penalty. I don’t think the entire, sordid show is about chickens at all.

Typically, an ordinance relating to poultry keeping will determine how many hens you can have, and where and how you must keep them. The birds must be contained and quiet, the coops must be secure. The installation of electric fencing can be required. One must mitigate for noxious odor, and control predators. The birds cannot be allowed to roam free and spread disease, or attract a wandering skunk. Above all, the noisy and offensive rooster is not allowed. They might disturb the neighbors, and it is simply too much for the controlling mind of the clerk. On and on it goes.

I don’t fault our nearby chicken keepers for trying, in fact I applaud them. It’s a noble and just cause, and they have done their best to work along the only route available to them. It is the manner in which we fight that disturbs me. The documenting newspaper article talks of how the group promises to play by the rules. One person is quoted in saying, “I’m confident we will be 100 percent in compliance”. “Compliant”, says she? The article goes on discuss the good points of chicken raising, of how it can educate children as to where their food comes from, while having fun. It touts the economic benefit that could be brought to the revenue of the hardware supply and the gardening store. It balances these ideas against the potential downsides and complaints, and makes the case that perhaps it is not a foolish idea, after all. “Foolish”, indeed. Imagine the foolishness of someone with the audacity to supply their own food.

The residents of Denver, Colorado begged for their right to keep animals some time ago, and now they live under some of the most draconian laws imaginable. Their ordinances require a permit to keep poultry on property. A fee is demanded, and stipulations must be met and maintained. Once permitted, the property is subject to inspection and multiple visits by more than one controlling agency. They arrive when they wish, without appointment. The property must be properly posted, and the neighbors so notified. Permits are subject to renewal, at the government’s discretion, with annual fees. Violators will be prosecuted. Does this sound like some type of preposterous science fiction movie, or a town, or city, near you? We are talking chickens here, and not about some dangerous and toothsome creature from outer space.

I want to know who gained the authority to decide that the chicken limit stops at four, five, or six. When did they decide that? Was I asked to voice my humble opinion? What made it so important to come up with such a law? Were the parameters based on some well thought out scientific study, funded with the public dollar, and performed by some chicken police think tank?  Has anyone considered that roosters are an important piece of the poultry puzzle? If I am not mistaken, they are a vital and necessary component of procreation, and life. Though infertile, a willing hen will bless you with the miracle of an egg without the help of a male. A rooster is required if you wish to replenish your flock. Is it new life, that they despise?

The message they wish to send is clear. How dare you think of enjoying a private egg or two, for yourselves, in peace? You are a criminal of the worst kind, guilty as charged until proven innocent. Your fine, and punishment, is what we say it is. And oh, by the way, the chickens now belong to us.

It is a proverbial, in your face case, of the foxes guarding not one, but all of the hen houses. I like foxes, and I would prefer to preserve their good name. The truth is, they are not foxes anyway, as that would be too tame a description. Bloody tongued wolves would be more like it, circling impatiently in the dark night, eager to blow your house down. The devil is always in the carefully crafted details of the hidden contract, and they administered and diverted our rights away many years ago.

Yet, the wheels are wobbling on the fatally damaged, corporate driven shopping cart. We are taking our chicken coops back, one backyard at a time. They know it, and they cannot allow it. They are desperate, and they grow more terrified every day. We know the truth, and can see the madness of their souls. They hold power over us because we empower them. We didn’t even show up for the fight.

My advice is uncomplicated. Don’t give it all up to them so easily. Refuse to grovel before the beast. It’s sad and pathetic, and it makes us look small. Compliance is not an option, and the monster’s cravings are insatiable. Do not give them the satisfaction of obtaining what they seek, nor allow them the sustaining succor of our fear.

It is time to bypass the lowly denizens of the city council, and their ilk. The time has come to dress down the petty and falsely officious policeman of your subdivisions, and expose the multitude of local tyrants and self-important snitches.

It is time to ignore the directives from the “authorities” on high, or the blather of the party line. They do not have our best interests in mind. If they did they would encourage and help, and not preclude or impede. It’s time to stop playing their dishonest game. Why should we? They don’t play fair, and they never have.

It is time to slip the chains of the oppressors, and throw them back at their flimsy facades. Take a stand, and stare the predator in the eye. Do something disobedient and bold, today. It’s been done before, many, many times. Our acts cannot be separated from the revolutionary history of the sleeping giant, the once free people of our United States.

Let us rise from our knees and stop asking for their permission. It is not their’s to give. It’s that simple. Go out and get a chicken or two, and perhaps a rooster to go with it. Let it’s morning crow announce to the world that you are awake, and ready. It all starts with a chicken and an egg, on the home grounds of an independent, proud, and defiant people.

You Might Also Like: The Gelded Rooster

 

 

 

 

The Time For Direct, Unregulated Farm Sales is Now!

Reclaiming Our Traditional Foodways

For the majority of this country’s history, unregulated farmer-to-consumer direct commerce was the norm in most of the United States. Consumers could even purchase meat, a food heavily regulated today, from farmers that were not inspected by the government.1It was only in the 20th century that farmers became ensnared in a regulatory system created due to problems that were not of their own making. This development, along with other factors, caused the decline of the family farm and community self-sufficiency in food production. In recent years there has been a move mainly at the state level towards restoring the tradition of unregulated sales direct from farms and home kitchens to the consumer; the trend is continuing in 2017 with bills filed in several state legislatures allowing for unregulated direct sales.

Bills have been introduced in Virginia and North Dakota so far this legislative session to allow the unregulated sale of nearly all foods produced by farms and home kitchens direct to the consumer; similar legislation will be introduced shortly in other states, as well. Under these bills the only foods that would still require regulation would be meat and food products with meat ingredients due to restrictions placed on those products by the Federal Meat Inspection Act.

Wyoming has been the trailblazer for this type of legislation with the passage of the 2015 Food Freedom Act. Reports are that the act has been a great success with significant increases in the number of farmers markets in the state along with more consumers purchasing locally produced food direct from the source. If there is any evidence of illness caused by the consumption of food produced by an unregulated farm, ranch, or home kitchen, neither the Wyoming Department of Health or county departments of health have provided it. The record in Wyoming and elsewhere is that unregulated locally produced food generally has an excellent track record for food safety. There is a transparency and traceability with local food that the industrial food system can’t match.

The Wyoming success has spurred state legislators elsewhere to become interested in pursuing similar legislation. Unregulated local producer direct-to-consumer sales are no longer a radical idea but rather a way to make more quality food available, build community, and connect to our past agricultural heritage where the government left these kind of transactions alone.

These heritage food bills, restoring an American tradition, are a needed counterweight to federal attempts to increase control over intrastate food commerce through laws such as the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, laws that consolidate market share in the industrial food system and reduce consumer food choice. With the promise of deregulation from the new administration, now is the time to move forward reestablishing the rights Americans once had to obtain the foods of our choice from the source of our choice whether or not that source is regulated.

This website will post updates on any progress made in state food freedom legislation.

Footnotes

1 David Berg. Journal of Food Law & Policy. “Food Choice is a Fundamental Liberty Right.” 2013; 9: 173,190.

See the Original Article from Farm to Consumer Legal defense Fund Here.

Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty

You Might Also Like Bureaucrats…

Bureaucrats and Other Pesky Critters

Stand Up and Be Counted!

 

“Let justice be done though the heavens should fall.”John Adams

 

For a few years now I have been investigating the legal issues that relate to the rights of an individual to grow and sell meat, poultry, and other homegrown farm products directly to consumers. What would be the problem, you might ask? You can grow or raise, and sell, what you want to sell, right? We live in a free country, with free and open markets, do we not?

Well, not so fast. Being the rather cautious person that I am, I began some time ago to ask questions of people working in a long list of local, state, and federal government agencies that hold jurisdiction over the land, and of us. It has been a painful, core shaking inquiry that is not for the faint of heart. I have not enjoyed the experience.

I can discuss the actual laws and regulations pertaining to selling food later. What I can say now is that, with rare exception, I have confronted a nearly impenetrable wall of mind numbing and intimidating legalize, wrapped in doublespeak, and spouted gleefully by a largely incompetent army of no sayers and useful idiots. I hate to say it that way folks, but I have to call it like I see it.

Apparently, the government at all levels is an equal opportunity employer. I have been treated rudely and dismissively by condescending staff from the city level right up to the big ol’ federal government.

Typically, I’ve been told to call a certain department or agency. I’ve been told by that department to call another because they did not regulate this or that. I have called the referred department only to be instructed to call the department that just referred them. I’ve been put on hold so many times and for so long I don’t know if I can ever listen to bad music again. I’ve been disconnected while on hold, hung up on while talking with someone, given so many bad phone numbers, and forwarded to so many unrelated or defunct departments that I no longer know which agency to question.

More often than not,  I’ve been given information that is incomplete, misleading, or completely incorrect. In many instances I have discovered information at a later date that I felt was deliberately withheld at the time. I have had to constantly reassess the nature and purpose of my original question, and to doggedly return to the trail, like a bloodhound casting for scent. I can assure you that the government’s left hand does not know what it’s right hand is up to. They don’t even know where the other hand is, except to be sure that it just picked your pocket. They didn’t even say thanks.

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I was in a good mood when I started my inquiries. I was positive and full of hope about the possibilities of new ventures, new businesses, new relationships. That’s gone now, and I feel like the cat that has caught a mouthful of tail feathers and no bird. I am still hungry, unsatisfied and empty, left with a bad taste in my mouth that I find hard to spit out.

I can barely talk to someone now without shaking my fist at them in my mind’s eye. I want to scream at them and ask if they somehow managed to forget that hey, by the way, you work for me don’t you know…for us?

I was mocked by a county “authority” a few weeks back. During our conversation he laughed and said something like “You just didn’t know you were biting into an elephant did you? Ha, Ha, Ha!”. (I think there was an unspoken “did ya boy” in there somewhere).

No, I guess you did not know that you had bitten into an elephant. I am wounded. You have drawn first blood. Like Howard Beale’s famous speech in the movie “Network”, I am mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore. The pen is mightier than the sword, or so I’ve heard. I shall add my voice to the cry of raw milk and cheese producers, direct to consumer marketeers, small organic growers, home kitchen artisans,  and the growing ragtag army of others’ similarly wronged.

This is not right. This will not stand. I hope more will join us. We shall see what part of the elephant you are, and what kind of elephant am I.

The_March_to_Valley_Forge_William_Trego
The Sleeping Giant Awakens

After all, I just wanted to sustainably grow and honestly market some healthy and nutritious food to other people of like mind. I wanted to feed my family from my private property and maybe generate some small income to help with a myriad of escalating expenses. I have been stopped at every turn, without recompense, nor quarter.

To deny a person’s right to sell the food one produces defies all common sense. So, I say, thank you for laughing, Mr. Bureaucrat – and calling me to action. It may not be wise to step between a wounded elephant and it’s children. The laws must be changed.

We will have food freedom.

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*Has this happened to you?

I am currently collecting stories from farmers, food growers, and property owners about their experiences of a similar kind. Unfortunately, the horror stories have become more fiendish and pervasive, and all too common.

Care to share?

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“No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: the officious demands of policeman, government clerks, and electromechanical gadgets” – Edward Abbey.

“After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which he government is the shepherd”. – From “Democracy in America” by Alex De Tocqueville

The eagle, soaring over a farmer’s yard, swept and pounced on a cat, thinking it a rabbit. “In the air the cat seized her by the neck with her teeth and round her body with her fore and hind claws. The eagle finding herself scratched and pressed, bids the cat let go and fall down. No, says the cat. I won’t let go and fall. You shall stoop and set me down”. – John Adams

“To live outside the law, you must be honest”. – Bob Dylan

“Anarchism is not a romantic fable but the hard-headed realization, based on five thousand years of experience, that we cannot entrust the management of our lives to kings, priests, politicians, generals, and county commissioners”. – Edward Abbey

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You might also like: Permissions To Come, The Gelded Rooster, and Farming and Food Tyranny in the Land of No.

Teach Your Children Well

Food Freedom – and Self-Sufficiency Too!

Michael Patrick McCarty

You Might Also See Our Post About Gun control HERE

 

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.” – From “1984″ by George Orwell.

 

 

Up close and Personal!

 

“You take my life when you take the means whereby I live”.                                                                             ——–William Shakespeare

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”.  – Ephesians 6:12

“Logic is an enemy, and truth is a menace”. Rod Serling, The Twilight Zone TV Show; Closing monologue from “The Obsolete Man”.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”. – Martin Luther King

“Any state, any entity, any ideology that fails to recognize the worth, the dignity, the rights of man, that state is obsolete” – Rod Serling

“In the United States big government and untold bureaucracies have been created and organized to manage and control the energies of the private sector. Now, more than ever, this paradigm must change. Business, and trade, no matter how small, must  be returned to the control of its citizens. Business can and will be organized to minimize and control most any kind of bureaucracy. Was not that the intent of the Founding Fathers? It can begin again, in your backyard, and mine…”. – Michael Patrick McCarty

True Facts & The Agricultural Census

farm

USDA agricultural census program is a covert surveillance operation to compile government database of food and farm assets

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com
(NaturalNews) The USDA “census of agriculture” is a government-run farm surveillance program designed to register and inventory detailed private data on farm assets, operations and personnel. A census form is mailed to each farmer in the United States, accompanied by threats of compliance and a warning that farmers who do not comply will be visited in person by government agents.

These agricultural census forms — see a link to a scanned copy below — demands farmers reveal the following information, all of which is compiled into a vast government database:

• # of acres of land owned
• Physical location of the land
• # of acres of croplands harvested
• # of acres of pasture land
• # of acres leased for cash
• # of acres irrigated
• How much money you’ve received from state or federal agricultural programs
• The exact number of acres grown and harvested for each crop: corn, oats, peanuts, cotton, rice, soybeans, wheat and many more
• # of acres of hey or forage crops
• # of acres used for Christmas trees or maple syrup
• Detailed inventory of your greenhouses, vegetable seeds, mushrooms and “propagative materials”
• Detail inventory of tobacco plants, berries, aquatic plants, sod, flowering plants and more
• # of acres of beans, cantaloupes, potatoes, corn and various melons
• # of acres of various fruit and nut crops including apples, grapes and pears
• The total dollar value of all the crops you sold
• Detailed inventory of berries, including blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and more
• Details on the number of cattle and calves
• Value of all cattle sold
• Details on pigs, horses, sheep, goats and other animals
• Details on aquaculture operations, including type of plants grown
• Details on poultry production, # of chickens, what kind, how much money, etc
• Details on bees, alpacas, bison, deer, elk, rabbits and more
• Full details on all production contracts including chicken eggs, feed, seed and more
• Full reporting of all income from farm-related sources
• Full details on all farm labor, how many people you hired, what you paid, etc.
Grain storage capacity on your farm
• All production expenses: A full accouting of money spent, almost a full tax return all by itself
• Details on all fertilizers and chemicals applied to your farm
• Details on all organic food production
• The market value of all your land, machinery, buildings and equipment
• Details on all your tractors, what kind they are, how many horsepower, and all attachments
• Details on all sources of energy, including solar, wind, geoexchange, biodiesel and more
• Details on land use practices: erosion, conservation, cover crops and more
• Details on all your farming practices: crop rotations, reclamation projects, biomass harvesting, etc.
• Details on the dollar value of direct sales for human consumption
• The names and descriptions of all farm operators, including name, sex, age, race, hours of work and more
• Household income details
• Details of internet access

All this information will be used to seize farms as already approved under Obama

Most Americans don’t yet realize that President Obama has already signed an executive order declaring government ownership and control over all farms, food, livestock, seeds, farm equipment and more. I’ve covered that news in full detail here:
http://www.naturalnews.com/035301_Obama_executive_orders_food_supply….

The executive order is published at WhiteHouse.gov:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/03/16/executive-order…

Just over a year ago, on March 16, 2012, President Obama issued this executive order entitled, “NATIONAL DEFENSE RESOURCES PREPAREDNESS.”

This executive order states that the President alone has the authority to take over all resources in the nation (labor, food, industry, etc.) as long as it is done “to promote the national defense” — a phrase so vague that it could mean practically anything.

The power to seize control and take over these resources is delegated to the following government authorities:

(1) the Secretary of Agriculture with respect to food resources, food resource facilities, livestock resources, veterinary resources, plant health resources, and the domestic distribution of farm equipment and commercial fertilizer;

(2) the Secretary of Energy with respect to all forms of energy;

(3) the Secretary of Health and Human Services with respect to health resources;

(4) the Secretary of Transportation with respect to all forms of civil transportation;

(5) the Secretary of Defense with respect to water resources; and

(6) the Secretary of Commerce with respect to all other materials, services, and facilities, including construction materials.

Obama already asserts authority to seize your farm, greenhouse, livestock, seeds and grain

As is readily apparent, the executive order admits that the federal government can seize all farms, food, seeds, livestock and water resources any time it wants. The USDA agricultural census document provides the U.S. government with a “registration list” of all farms, seeds, tractors, livestock and water resources. It tells them what each farm possesses and exactly where to find it.

Remember, the U.S. government has already purchased 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition and thousands of armored assault vehicles to use domestically, against the American people. The global economy stands on the verge of collapse, with food shortages almost certain to follow a banking collapse. Once that happens, starvation is only days away, and it’s not unreasonable to imagine the federal government using the USDA agricultural census database to compile a “seizure target list” of farms to raid for food, tractors, seeds and livestock.

No farmer in America is safe from the government. A government that wants to take away your rifle will have absolutely no hesitation taking away your farm. My advice is to refuse on both counts.

USDA census is a violation of Fifth Amendment right to remain silent

The USDA census is, of course, ridiculously invasive and onerous. It places an enormous burden on farmers to fill out the forms and derive financial numbers that are, frankly, private information. Legally speaking, the census forms are a violation of Fifth Amendment rights which say no American shall be forced to testify against himself.

Beyond the obvious invasion of privacy, census forms have become a frightening system of surveillance where the government pries into the private lives of innocent, hard-working farmers who are just trying to make a living by producing honest food. The government will obviously use this system to try to enforce its National Animal Identification System (NAIS), a federal animal tagging and tracking system that thrusts an onerous burden on farmers and ranchers.

The USDA, predictably, claims your data is all protected. “Once you fill out the Census, your personal information is protected by federal law. These laws require USDA to keep your identity and your answers completely confidential,” they claim on their website. (http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Help/FAQs/General_FAQs/)

But that’s a complete joke, of course, because in 1791 we were promised a Bill of Rights that said “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” yet it is routinely infringed by the federal government at every turn. Obama promised health insurance would become more affordable under Obamacare, but rates are actually set to double. The Fourth Amendment guarantees us a right to be safe in our person and our belongings, yet the TSA violates that every single day.

Let’s face it: the government lies. It uses coercion to try to force people to do its bidding. So a promise by the USDA that all your private financial data will be “protected by federal law” holds zero credibility. Especially when the top law enforcement official in the nation — Eric Holder — was himself engaged in illegal gun running that put thousands of guns into the hands of Mexican drug gangs. When the government itself becomes the criminals, it’s hard to believe any promises of confidentiality.

Case in point: The Social Security Administration once promised your number would “never be used for identification.” Now it has become the de facto numerical ID of all Americans, without which you cannot hold a job or open a bank account. Governments LIE and routinely break promises.

People have good reason not to trust the government with their private data and personal farm details. In an age when the DHS is arming to the teeth while refusing to answer questions about why it’s buying enough ammunition to wage a 20-year war with the American people, we are wise to distrust government promises from any federal agency, including the USDA which routinely conspires with Monsanto.

It’s nobody’s business how many chickens or goats I’m raising

I raise chickens and goats, and it’s nobody’s business how many I care for. The USDA says that everybody with backyard chickens is a “farmer” under their control and therefore must fill out this form or face fines and a possible personal visit by government agents.

The USDA itself admits all this, saying:

Even if you do not believe you qualify as a farmer. You may be surprised to learn that a farm is defined as any place that produced and sold, or normally would have sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural products during the Census year. Many people who do not think of themselves as farmer actually meet the definition according to the Census. If you own horses, backyard chickens, large urban gardens, etc., you may qualify as a farmer.

Thus, by their own admission, even if you do not produce any food whatsoever, the mere act of living on a piece of land that COULD produce food makes you a farmer! If you have a “large urban garden” you must spy on yourself for the government!

If you refuse to fill out the form, the USDA will send government spies to your property to confront you in person. In their own words:

“For those who do not respond by April 5, NASS will begin following up by telephone and personal visits.”

Add yet, even though you are threatened with being visited by government agents for failing to fill out the form, the USDA admits their own website doesn’t even work much of the time and loses the information you’re trying to fill out:

We are experiencing intermittent connection issues and are working to resolve them as soon as possible. We understand that some respondents have lost their connection or received an error screen that does not allow them to return to the information they already entered. We greatly apologize for this inconvenience and we hope to have the problems resolved very soon.

Furthermore, you are not allowed to answer any question with, “I don’t know.” As the USDA explains:

NASS does not provide an option for respondents to select “don’t know” because your best estimate is always better than “don’t know.”

Of course, the government can always imprison you for providing inaccurate information, so the mere act of attempting to fill out the form automatically makes you a criminal for reporting inaccurate financial data. It’s a catch-22: Refuse to fill out the form, and you earn a visit from government agents along with possible fines. Choose to fill out the form, and you incriminate yourself with possible felony violations for “lying to the government.” This is the crime that sent Martha Stewart to prison, by the way.

Read what farmers really think of the USDA and its census surveillance demands

Here’s some of what’s posted on the LocalHarvest.org forum:

USDA Census harassment
Has anyone else been hassled by USDA for refusing/neglecting to fill out their census form?

They kept sending me copies, and I kept throwing them away, because as we increasingly see, USDA fashions its every policy with an eye to promoting the interests of Corporate Ag while squashing small family farms.

In particular, given what we have seen of USDA’s lies, deception and coercion in pursuit of their disastrous NAIS policy, I do not trust them to honor their privacy assurances, but rather I expect they will use information from the census to feed into NAIS.

We know that they have lied to the public and to ag organizations about the NAIS policies, e.g. that the program is voluntary when it is in fact coercive, that it will benefit farmers when it would in fact destroy small family farms, etc. They have demanded that vendors of livestock feed require a NAIS “premises id number” or you can’t buy feed, in some locales.

NAIS is simply impossible for small, already overworked family farmers to comply with. It would subject anyone keeping any farm animals, even a couple of backyard chickens, to more scrutiny, intrusion and surveillance than a violent felon or convicted pedophile. The record-keeping and reporting requirements are unbelievable. If the strain of all this added time and labor is not enough to ruin family farms, the fees and potential fines for violating their stupid reporting requirements will finish the job.

So, I told this lady, I am not cooperating with USDA because of their anti-family- farm policies including GAP (see related thread), organic certification (see related thread), and especially NAIS. I told her I did not trust their “privacy” assurances.

She was nice enough but finally said, “I’m not threatening you, but a federal statute requires you to submit this census, and USDA can fine you. You’ll be getting letters from the USDA about this.”

This is outrageous. We need to be writing our congresspersons about the way USDA is being used to bludgeon family/small farms. We need to build public awareness about what is going on. Let your customers at your Market know, and urge them to talk to local, state, national officials about the desperate need to nurture, rather than impede, community-based agriculture.

I see this situation worsening by the month, as nanny state bureaucrats seem to be crawling out of the woodwork like so many termites. If we don’t get active and fight back, we are lost!

RE: USDA Census harassment
Yes, I too have been harassed by the USDA for not wanting to fill out their VERY lengthy survey about pretty much nothing..in my opinion. I too finally 1/2 filled one of the three they sent me with SOME of the information they needed to know. The rest was none of your business answers. I too was threatened with fines etc. Personally, I was sick of the mailings, letters, and phone calls!!!

There are two fines – one if you do not reply to it and another if you provide incorrect information (lie to them). So when I get this I write in bold letters “None of your business” on every page. Then on the last page I write “This is my response and its the truth.”

Yes, I also was harassed 3 times. Called the USDA the rep. said they would not enforce the fine. Finally got around to filling it out with several sections labeled “NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS”.

Re-posted with permissions. Thank you Natural News.

See original article here.

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Michael Patrick McCarty