Government Goat Census Goes the Way of the Dodo

Oh, Billy! The New York Times reports that the federal Department of Agriculture won't be counting goats, hops, or catfish on America's farms anymore. 

Last year, Wisconsin led the nation in mink farming, producing 833,430 pelts. Texas was the undisputed king of pansies, growing 1.8 million flats of the flowers. And no state harvested more hops than Washington, with 24,336 acres.

This year? Who knows? The government has stopped counting.

Forced to cut its budget, the Agriculture Department has decided to eliminate dozens of reports, including the annual goat census (current population: three million), and the number of catfish on the nation’s fish farms (177 million, not counting the small fry).

...The statistics service said it was forced to reduce the frequency of some reports and eliminate others because its budget was cut for the fiscal year that ended in September and it expects further cuts for the current year. The eliminated reports will save $11 million a year.

...The reports themselves reveal a possible rationale for some of the cuts. There are just 389 catfish farms today in the three main producing states, Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi, down from 838 in 2004. There were 265 mink farms nationwide last year, down from 350 a decade earlier.

Via Cato's Sallie James

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  • AlmightyJB||

    Government cutting spending? Clearly this signals the apocolypse. Krugnuts is probably having a spell right now. This threw two Kinkos employees out of a job.

  • GILMORE||

    The Chevre lobby is extremely concerned

  • AlmightyJB||

    So does that goat have human hands or is it being sodemized?

  • ||

    Huma-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-an Centipede?

  • Gerry Sandusky||

    I think you already know the answer...

  • T||

    It seems to me if there's a demand for the information, then a market will spring up to supply it. I can go find out how many drilling rigs are active in the US & Canada and the .gov has nothing to do with it.

  • Raston Bot||

    Exactly. There's probably a goat farmers association that keeps relatively accurate tabs on that stuff, ditto for every other producer of anything anywhere.

    ADP produces a labor report based off the thousands of payrolls they process. If it's missing any stat that's included in the Dept of Labor's employment report, then I'm sure ADP would find a way to add it... except for that black box birth/death hokus pokus stuff.

  • GILMORE||

    There's probably a goat farmers association that keeps relatively accurate tabs on that stuff

    Ahh, but they obviously can't be trusted. conflict of interest. They will misstate the actual Goat population in order to artificially stimulate demand for... well, Goat related items.

  • Brett L||

    Eh. If not, some enterprising bean counter will gather and produce such counts to be sold to COMEX traders for a profit if they don't already do so.

  • ||

    Also, the state governments. They all (I think) have Ag depts and I assume they track this stuff, too.

  • T||

    But then lazy journalists and academics will have to visit 50 websites instead of just one! Imagine the productivity lost!

  • Mr Whipple||

    Off topic:

    "Pin-Ups for Ron Paul"

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/.....7065559256

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Texas was the undisputed king of pansies

    The bitter lament of a Kansas Jayhawk.

  • GILMORE||

    Texas was the undisputed king of pansies

    And steers. Queers AND Steers.

  • P B||

    You leave Gov. Perry out of th......

  • Joe M||

    You guys are posting way too many blog entries today. The commentariat is divided and unable to coalesce around a single subject.

  • Ska||

    I'm waiting for a Lucy S. Skyrim review post.

  • Peter Suderman||

    I think I'm the staffer most likely to play that.

  • Homie||

    I sure don't.

  • Ska||

    Alright Mr. Suderman, I'll take a review from you next week only to have a legitimate Skyrim discussion that isn't off-topic in a Republican debate thread. ;)

  • Jerry||

    Talking about reviews, is anyone at Reason going to review the tv series Boss?

  • Joe M||

    Do a Skyrim review for the Times and repost it here.

  • T||

    We're waiting for the divine Lucy S. to post, at which point we will descend like locusts.

  • ||

    Suderman with the "Midnight Express" quote FTW!

  • wareagle||

    but if we don't count goats, how will they be appropriately represented in Congress?

  • PantsFan la Canuck d'Anglaise||

    Is the GOP gerrymandering for goats now?

  • wareagle||

    no, this sort of thing would be part of the ever-Balkanizing left, which demands proportionate representation for often under-represented constituencies. Why, goat-American is already gaining traction on some federal forms as a check block.

  • ||

    I bet the Brewers' Association is counting hops.

  • GILMORE||

    Fool. Brewer Association counts barrels shipped dude. The hops are tracked by http://www.usahops.org/

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Yet the government continues to pay so many to count sheep.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    How are we going to continue without an accurate count of our goats?!?

    Fucking Anarchy!

  • fish||

    Concur! And that doesn't even begin to address the Goat Counting Gap with the former Eastern Bloc nations! A dire threat to national security I tells ya!

  • Tim||

    Goats involved in liquor trafficing...

    http://www.google.com/products.....F0Q8wIwAA#

  • ||

    We're waiting for the divine Lucy S. to post, at which point we will descend like locusts.

    The Supremely Awesome Lucy is a beacon in the night. What more needs to be said?

  • PantsFan la Canuck d'Anglaise||

    Tomorrow is a sacred holiday in the Great White North. Is it such a day in the Land of the Free?

  • Almanian||

    Ah, Remembrance Day. Always a BIG day for the pipe bands in Ontario, esp. the Police pipe bands, of which I played with three over the years.

    The US? "Veterans Day", not so well observed as "Remembrance Day" in Canada. Mostly a nice "observed" holiday for the Unions to move to coincide with the start of firearms deer hunting season, at least in Michigan. So at least it involves guns...

  • Almanian||

    And hence why "Veterans Day" is "observed" on Monday 11/14, instead of tomorrow - a convenient driving day to get to deer camp for the start of the season on Tuesday, 11/15. Fancy that!

    /auto industry holiday weirdness

  • ||

    Forced to cut its budget, the Agriculture Department has decided to eliminate dozens of reports

    Nobody noticed, and nothing else happened.

  • ||

    is anyone at Reason going to review the tv series Boss?

    It sucks.

    Happy now?

  • Sparky||

    Goats have creepy eyes. That is all.

  • PantsFan la Canuck d'Anglaise||

    Also, Goats sound like people doing a poor impression of a goat.

  • ||

    I bet the Brewers' Association is counting hops.

    No, you dolt; hops are tallied by the Rabbit Breeders Assn. Or maybe the Kangaroo Wranglers Consortium.

  • Almanian||

    By the Hydraulix Lowriders Car Club, Holmes.

  • Almanian||

    But government employees can still count sheep at night to go to sleep, right? So there's that.

  • ||

    But government employees can still count sheep at night the office to go to sleep, right? So there's that.

  • ||

    Goat roapers need love too!

  • Chatroom Crank||

    Up against the wall.

  • Brett L||

    Damn. Stupid refresh.

  • Brett L||

    Up against the wall

  • ||

    http://lh6.ggpht.com/_dlkAw43c.....chool6.jpg

    That's a picture featuring everybody that gave a shit about the goat-fucking goat counters at the Department of Agriculture and their reports -- see how many people gave a shit?

  • Forgettable Paul||

    No, that's what schools would look like if Libertarians ran the world.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Except that that school looks like that because the federal government runs the show.

  • DLM||

    just 389 catfish farms

    Domestic catfish are an endangered species, so that we should really be subsidizing them.

  • Forgettable Paul||

    If their budget was "cut" where did those cut dollars go, because the Feds spent more money this year than last year, etc.

    Oh yeah, Solyndra. Never mind.

  • Marc Jacobs||

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