Do you remember the Great Depression with its Black Tuesday in 1929? Or did you experience the dust bowl and see the cloud of soil coming at you on Black Sunday in 1935? The 1930s were difficult times for American farmers.
In fact, President Roosevelt was alarmed at the loss of family-sized, family-owned farms during that time period. Today is similar in many ways. To support American farmers in the 1930’s the Farm Security Administration was formed. Though the name has changed over the years, the mission has not.
The current Farm Service Agency (FSA) still stands as a support for the American farmer to help them produce an adequate food supply for our great nation, to keep consumer prices reasonable, and to assist farmers to compete for export sales of commodities.
In addition to the agency’s mission, you will find that your local FSA office is staffed by fellow Ohioans, many of whom have their roots in farming, who are focused on providing the local community effective and efficient service.
Historically, one of the most unique and important parts of FSA is the local representative farmers known as the County Committee (COC) who review county office operations and have a say in how federal programs affect the local community and local farming operations. After more than 60 years, the COC remains a crucial part of FSA’s efforts to support local agriculture.
As a part of the COC, FSA actively seeks input from beginning and Socially Disadvantaged Farmers through another innovation that has been part of the COC for many years: The role of Minority Advisor.
While there are some days when I think we will never see dust again in northeastern Ohio, we currently face a very tough economy. In these tough times, the FSA needs local farmers who will invest themselves in representing and protecting the farming needs of their local area or their unique minority group of local farmers.
You will hear more about the COC nominations, Minority Advisors, and COC elections in the future; however, if you have an interest in serving, contact your local FSA office for more information about the COC nomination process that is now open until Aug. 1.
Deadline: June 1 is the deadline for ALL individuals or entities that have a share in a farm’s base-acres to sign the 2011 Direct and Counter-Cyclical Program (DCP) contract.
Contact your local FSA office immediately if you have not initiated a DCP contract yet. This is one way to help federal dollars stay in your local community.
That’s all for now,