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This page was last updated on January 06, 2009 .

Not Raising Hogs

Dear Secretary of Agriculture:

My friend, Bud, over in Texas, received a check the other day for $1,000 from the government for not raising hogs. So, I want to go into the business of "not raising hogs" myself next year.

What I want to know is, in your opinion, what is the best type of farm not to raise hogs on, and what is the best breed of hogs not to raise? Also, is it possible to get a grazing permit to not raise hogs on public lands (preferably in a wolf or grizzly recovery area so environmentalists will pay me for any not raised hogs lost)? I want to be sure that I approach this endeavor in keeping with all government policies.

I would prefer not to raise Razor hogs, but if that is not a good breed not to raise, then I can just as easily not raise Yorkshires or Durocs. As I see it, the hardest part of this program will be keeping an accurate inventory of how many hogs I haven't raised, but I understand that I will be able to accelerate the depreciation on the computer that I will buy for keeping those records. If I can get $1,000 for not raising 50 hogs, will I get $2,000 for not raising 100 hogs - or are the payments progressive? I plan to operate on a small scale at first, holding myself down to about 4,000 "not raised" hogs, which will give me $80,000 income the first year.

Then I can buy an airplane. Now, another thing... these hogs I will not raise will not eat 100,000 bushels of corn. I understand you also pay farmers for not raising corn and wheat. Will I qualify for payments for not raising wheat and corn not to feed the 4,000 hogs I am not going to raise? As I am not going to use subsidized irrigation water to not water that corn and wheat that I will not be raising to not feed my not raised hogs, will the government pay me the subsidy for the water not used? What about ESA mitigation credits that I could sell to developers for their use in habitat conservation plans and safe harbor agreements?

Also, if I do not raise hogs on public lands, will I still qualify for drought relief payments about 7 out of every 10 years like the folks who raise cows there do? Can I pledge a BLM or Forest Service permit to not raise hogs as security on a loan from my bank, and will my grazing permit be extended for 10 years if I do? How about predator control to protect my not raised hogs, and do you happen to know which states will provide the best animal damage reimbursements and best property tax breaks? Is it true that in the future I will be allowed to lock the gates on public lands to protect the hogs that I am not raising there, and will you provide the locks?

I want to get started not raising hogs as soon as possible, as this seems to be a good time of the year to not raise hogs and grain. I am also considering the "not milking cows" business, so please send me any information on that program as well.

In view of these circumstances, I understand that I will qualify for "earned income" tax credits and the government will also consider me totally unemployed, so I plan to file for unemployment and food stamps as well. Will I also be able to take an oil depletion allowance for the oil and gasoline that I will not be using in the farm equipment that I will not have?

Thank you for making these benefits available to us common folk.