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Cover Letter for Self Administered Survey

Written Consent Incorporated into Cover Letter for Self-Administered Survey – Agricultural Issues

Date

Dear (Respondent):

Farm owners and operators in this area are facing changes in a major farm program. The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is scheduled for re-authorization during the 2003 U.S. Senate and House hearings. Unlike the grain farms in the Midwest, grain farms in your area have unique production and land management characteristics. Information is needed to indicate how operators in this region view the CRP and how they intend to adapt to changes in the program. This information, when collected, will provide farmers, policy makers and federal farm program managers with a better local picture of how the CRP has performed and what it might become.

As an owner and/or operator with CRP acreage, I am asking your help in determining some of the characteristics concerning your operation as well as your past and future management of CRP land. We would appreciate it if you would take about 20 minutes to respond to the enclosed questionnaire and return it in the envelope provided. Your responses, together with others, will be combined and used for statistical summaries only. Your participation in this study is voluntary and you may refuse to answer any question. Only a small sample of growers will receive the questionnaire, so your participation is vital to the study.

The answers you provide will be kept confidential to the extent permitted by law. Special precautions have been established to protect the confidentiality of your responses. The number on your questionnaire will be removed once your questionnaire has been returned. We use the number to contact those who have not returned their questionnaire, so we do not burden those who have responded. Your questionnaire will be destroyed once your responses have been tallied. There are no foreseeable risks to you as a participant in this project; nor are there any direct benefits. However, your participation is extremely valued.

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact me at (xxx) xxx-xxxx or by e-mail at xxx@xxx.edu. If I am not available when you call, please leave a message and I will call back. If you have questions about your rights as a participant in this research project, please contact the _____________ Institutional Review Board (IRB) Human Protections Administrator at (xxx) xxx-xxxx or by e-mail at IRB@xxxxxxxx.edu.

Thank you for your help. We appreciate your cooperation.

Sincerely,

Name and title