FSA to hold county committee elections

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Hello again,

What a beautiful weekend we had here in northeast Ohio. It was perfect weather for all the local fairs. Don’t forget to support your local fair and 4-H programs.

As promised last week, I am going to talk about the county committee election this week. Having the county committee system in the Farm Service Agency is a unique system.

When I first started with the Farm Service Agency, it was called the ASCS office, Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service. Now that was a mouthful to answer the phone.

There was a community committee person(s) for every township in the county. The community committee would attend an annual county convention in their county.

They would hear what the ASCS office accomplished in the past year and what programs were available. There’s your history lesson of the day.

I better move on to the current county committee election or I will keep reminiscing about the good old days for a while.

They say that when you start reminiscing about the good old days you must be old. I guess I am old since I say that quite often.

Local areas

The county committee is made up of three to five representatives from local administrative areas (LAA’s).

LAA’s are groups of townships that form an area in the county. That area will have a representative on the county committee.

One of the ways having representatives from different areas in the county is to help inform the office of different weather and crop conditions from the area they represent.

Each LAA has an election every three years; therefore, the term of a COC representative is three years. You will have to check with your local FSA office to see if your LAA is having an election this year.

The nomination(s) for this year’s election ended Aug. 1. If you wanted to be a nominee for the election this year, it is too late.

Don’t fret, you can still be involved in this year’s county committee election. The nomination time has passed, but there is still an election that needs to be held. Your vote is important.

County committee members are a critical component of the operations of FSA. They help deliver FSA farm programs at the local level.

Farmers who serve on county committees help with the decisions necessary to administer the programs in their counties. They work to ensure FSA agricultural programs serve the needs of local producers.

A fact you may not know; the county committee hires the County Executive Director (CED) for their office and conducts the CED’s performance reviews.

Voting

You may be asking yourself what qualifies you to vote? I can answer that question: All agricultural producers of legal voting age may be eligible to vote if they participate or cooperate in any FSA program.

Experience is not a condition of being on the committee, it is on the job training.

If you are located in an area that is holding an election, ballots will be mailed to eligible voters beginning Nov. 6. You will even be mailed a reminder postcard to vote.

You will need to return the ballot to the FSA county office or postmarked by Dec. 4. Make sure you read the directions on how to mark your ballot and return it.

These directions get missed every year and the ballot gets invalidated and does not count. If you don’t receive a ballot, it could be that your LAA is not holding an election this year.

If you aren’t sure or you have any questions, contact your local FSA to ask.

That’s all for now,

FSA Andy

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