Are you getting tired of answering surveys and offering feedback for various entities? Me too. It’s called respondent fatigue, and it drives statisticians nuts because it often means that “sample units” (you and I) do not cooperate with information requests, which throws off results.

As tempting as it is to blow off yet another request for your input, it’s worth your while to strongly consider this latest request from USDA. That’s because lack of response by farmers and ranches is often perceived as a lack of need by agency leadership.

The agency wants public comment as it reviews existing program rules to determine whether any should be modified, streamlined, clarified, or repealed to improve access to USDA programs.

According to USDA, the intent is to minimize burdens on individuals, businesses and communities attempting to access programs that promote economic growth, create jobs, and protect health and safety. The review was directed by an executive order that was signed on Jan. 18.

"As we work to out-build and out-innovate the rest of the world, we must ensure that people across the country are able to access the critical programs and resources that USDA offers," says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "The comments will allow us to hear directly from those who use USDA programs as we work to streamline rules in a way that improves access to resources intended to create jobs and grow the economy."

USDA initially intends to focus on Rural Development, the Risk Management Agency, the Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Food Safety and Inspection Service, all of which directly and indirectly affect your business.

The agency says is particularly interested in hearing from the public concerning areas where USDA can simplify and reduce the reporting burden for entry and access to USDA programs, while reducing its administrative and operating costs by sharing similar data across participating agencies.

You have until May 20 to comment. Offer input at: All comments received will be considered as USDA reviews its existing rules.