June 06, 2017
Contact: Isabel Benemelis
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking nominations for local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees. Nominations will be accepted from June 15 to Aug. 1.
“County committees allow farmers and ranchers to make important decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally to best serve their needs,” said Acting FSA Administrator Chris Beyerhelm. “We strongly encourage all eligible producers to visit their local FSA office today to find out how to get involved in their county’s election. There’s an increasing need for representation from underserved producers, which includes beginning, women and other minority farmers and ranchers.”
County committees are made up of farmers and ranchers elected by other producers in their communities to guide local farm programs. Farmers and ranchers may nominate themselves or others. Organizations may also nominate candidates to better serve their communities. All nomination forms must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by Aug. 1. Locate your local office at https://offices.usda.gov.
County committee members play a critical role in the day-to-day operations of FSA. Committees of three to 11 members meet once a month or as needed to make important decisions on disaster and conservation programs, emergency programs, commodity price support loan programs, county office employment and other agricultural issues. Members serve three-year terms. Nationwide there are over 7,700 farmers and ranchers serving on FSA county committees.
To serve on an FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in an agency administered program and reside in the local administrative area where the election is held.
After the nomination period, candidates will encourage eligible local producers to vote. FSA will mail election ballots to eligible voters beginning Nov. 6. Ballots are due to the local county office either via mail or in person Dec. 4. Newly-elected committee members and alternates will take office Jan. 1, 2018.
To become a candidate, an eligible individual must sign an FSA-669A nomination form. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.