The nomination period for local Farm Service Agency county committees began June 15. I urge all farmers to participate in this year’s county committee elections by nominating candidates by the Aug. 1 deadline.
County committees are a vital link between the farm community and the USDA and provide a voice to landowners and farmers so that they have an opportunity to voice their opinions and ideas.
With better participation in recent years, we have seen an increase in the number of nominations of women and minority candidates. I hope that trend continues.
To be eligible to serve on an FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in a program administered by FSA, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and reside in the local administrative area in which the person is a candidate.
You can get more information about your county’s local administrative areas by calling your local office.
Farmers may nominate themselves or others, and organizations representing minorities and women also may nominate candidates.
To become a candidate, an eligible individual must sign the nomination form, FSA-669A. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.
Nomination forms for the 2011 election must be postmarked or received in your local USDA Service Center by close of business Aug. 1. Elections will take place this fall.
While FSA county committees do not approve or deny loans, they make decisions on disaster and conservation programs, emergency programs, commodity price support loan programs and other agricultural issues. Members serve three-year terms.
Nationwide, there are about 7,800 farmers serving on FSA county committees. Committees in this area normally consist of three to five members elected by eligible producers.
FSA will mail ballots to eligible voters beginning Nov. 4. The ballots are due back to the local county office either via mail or in person by Dec. 5. Newly elected committee members and alternates take office Jan. 2.
That’s all for now,