Wednesday, January 24, 2007

On The Home Front

Recently we got a letter from the USDA complete with a neat aerial color photo of our property.

The letter began,
" We appreciate the opportunity to serve you at our office. To improve our services, we are writing to ask for your help in reviewing maps of your farm(s).

Our office has been working on converting paper maps to digital using computer mapping software. We believe the new maps will provide our customers higher quality maps and more accurate measurements. The new maps will also be more up to date than before because we used 2005 aerial photography. In the future, computer mapping will allow you to report crops and complete other FSA business on the Internet.

Please review the enclosed map for accuracy. If you identify fields that appear to be incorrectly placed on the map, please let the county FSA office know within 30 days of this letter so that we may make appropriate corrections.

If we do not hear from you within 30 days from the date of this letter, we will consider the field boundary information correct and use this acreage for USDA/FSA program purposes such as the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and Direct and CounterCyclical Program (DCP). "

On the map they enclosed, they had our supposed property boundaries highlighted in yellow. It's close but I noticed some possible discrepancies.

Now, we have never participated in any kind of USDA farm program, don't ever plan to and I don't believe any previous owner ever has in the history of our property. So it gives a person a kind of eerie feeling knowing that Big Brother is photographing and "mapping' our land in such minute detail. Better make sure a guy is standing "under" a tree next time he relieves himself out of doors. Never know if it'll wind up on the Internet or something.

I kind of want to go down to the local USDA office and see what this is all about, but then again I'm afraid I'll get rooked into signing on with that blasted totalitarian NAIS. If I do nothing are they going to cement our boundaries in stone and if they do will that somehow effect us in a negative way in the future? By looking at the map it looks they cheated us out of some acreage of land. The whole thing bugs me! Don't really know how to respond to it.

I kind of have a bad feeling about it as far as staying off the radar screen of the dreaded National Animal Identifcation System.

When I think of how our wonderful state leaders are taking such good care of us it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Until Next Time


Blogger reformed farmer said...

Interesting, We have had a lot of helicopter activity at our place this month. Perhaps they are mapping us.

6:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The FSA and NAIS aren't linked. The maps you were sent can be downloaded by anybody either thru Google Maps or thru other online maps such as this:
The FSA isn't going to talk you into signing up for programs, they are more interested in that the land is taken care of like it should.
Being a good steward isn't practiced by all and that is what the FSA/NRCS is trying to do. Yes there are programs to help you do such and you would receive monies to do such things. Yes, it's strictly voluntarily but definitely not something to run away from.
There are specialists in both offices that can help you in many areas and I would encourage you to go visit with them. I guarantee they will NOT force you to sign a thing!

9:44 AM  
Blogger RL said...

Reformed Farmer,
Howdy! We get helicopters flying over fairly often too, but mostly it is the DNR in airplanes that keeps tabs on everything.

One time years ago when we all still lived in IL we had a very large water tank placed on our land. Two days later we got a phone call from the DNR who was concerned that it was a fuel tank. I can appreciate the concern but, it was a little unnerving to find out we were being monitored so closely. We had to present them with proper documentation that it was indeed a potable water tank as well as a DNR agent having to visually inspect it.

Mama Koch,
Hello and thanks a bunch for the comment. Sounds like you know your way around the system very well. As I'm sure you can tell I tend to be suspicious of government programs especially now with this NAIS thing. If what I here is true it’s going to be a bad deal for everyone, well except for the big guys. I hope and pray it doesn’t turn out as bad as what they are saying. I love my Country but I distrust my government. I guess my main concern is winding up like that couple in Idaho who unwittingly registered their premises. I don’t believe it happened with malicious intent or anything but rather because of all the red tape that went along with what they were doing. An over sight.

Over the years we’ve been involved with 4-H and have had lots of positive interaction with the county extension office. Lots of wonderful folks working in those area’s. It’s great to have that support system available but, when it comes to government assistance I’d just soon keep my distance. In the end I think it makes us weaker as a nation. For many reasons.

I was checking out your blog and I see that you are into quilts. Quilts always remind me of my Grandma. She made hundreds of them in her life and through the years before she passed away she made a point of making sure all the family members got at least one of them. Something to remember Grandma by not to mention being a very practical gift. We all use ours all the time especially now that we live way up in the north country.


3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Lots of information that you may use. You can select your area and find things that relate to you.

We look to them for assistance from terracing to planting. We live where terracing is a necessity and having a trained professional do the job is a relief. Your tax dollars are paying for engineer's salaries to design ponds and waterways and for resource specialists to help you plant the right crop for your area. Their expertise may help with gov't programs in assistance or just in what works and what doesn't.

We farm about 1K acres and are not afraid to go to either office in the County Service Center. I guarantee these gov't offices will definitely help you more than your county extension agent will.

We're not sure about NAIS either. I understanding tracking animals for safety sake, but somebody telling me I HAVE to do something....not even going to go there. They're talking now about even keeping tack of my pets. What's next..getting a hall pass to go potty?

Take care and stay warm. We're trying to melt about 6" of snow that fell last weekend. Not use to it being that cold here in Oklahoma! My DH always says we'll never freeze...we can line the walls with the quilts if necessary.

4:17 PM  
Blogger RL said...

Momma Koch,

Thanks for the tips.

Speaking of lining the walls with quilts. I have a cousin who's Uncle lives in Alaska and that's exactly what they do when it gets real cold.

9:36 AM  

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