FSA Andy: Changes to come

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Hello again!

Change, how often do we actually have a choice about the changes that we get to experience each day?

Sometimes, we just have to endure it, other times we embrace the change! But no matter how we handle it, it happens, even without our permission.

For me personally, it seems that I have change coming at me from all angles! I have a teenager who will be getting her driver’s license within the month. I have completed six months of job training away from home. I have been working in different county offices across the state. I have seen several of my fellow FSA employees retire in the last two months.

Budget reductions are changing the face of the FSA offices across the state, like everyone we are doing more with less. Less staffing, limited supplies, and even proposals of fewer offices. But through this change we recognize as employees of the Farm Service Agency that service remains our “middle” name.

Through the next year, we will see many drastic changes with the approach of a new farm bill, and we hope that we continue to service our local producers at the same level of effectiveness that we have achieved in the past.

Enrollment deadline change

The first noticeable change we have this year is the 2012 Direct and Counter-Cyclical Program (DCP) and ACRE enrollment. The enrollment period will begin Jan. 23 and will end June 1.

Here are some important reminders:

• All producers with an interest in a crop on DCP base acres must be identified on the DCP/ACRE contract and receive a proportionate share of DCP/ACRE payment for the farm.

• Changes on the farm after enrolling June 1 in DCP/ACRE must be reported to your local FSA office such as:

• Ownership changes

• Producer changes (Individuals and entities)

• Change in crop shares arrangements

Note: Changes cannot be made after Sept. 30.

We just recently held our elections for the local county committee, congratulations to all of the newly elected members. With every decision made, the committee’s first priority is to treat every farmer fairly.

To ensure this happens, a diverse committee system, which is representative of our diverse agricultural community, is essential.

Therefore, if the three to five elected members do not represent any minority groups in the county or area, an advisor must be appointed. A committee adviser needs to be active in the farming community and willing to serve on the committee for a one-year term.

FSA County Committee (COC) Advisors are a valued voice for under-represented groups and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. County committee members and their county executive directors, actively reach out to producer groups who are under-represented on county committees.

Eligibility requirements for COC Advisor nominee include:

• Be actively participating in farming or ranching in the county or area

• Be willing and available to serve as an advisor, if appointed; and indicate in writing their willingness to serve

Duties and Responsibilities of COC Advisors include:

• Attend each COC meeting, including executive sessions

• Participate in all deliberations

• Increase awareness of and participation in FSA activities, including elections, by eligible voters to ensure that socially disadvantaged group problems and viewpoints are understood and considered in FSA actions

• Help to develop interest and incentives in socially disadvantaged group members for considering FSA work as a career

• Active soliciting candidates from socially disadvantaged groups for nomination during the election process

• Be able to perform special duties at COC’s request.

Interested individuals should contact their local FSA office for more information.

That’s all for now,

FSA Andy

About the Author

FSA Andy is written by USDA Farm Service Agency county executive directors in northeastern Ohio. More Stories by FSA Andy

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