U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue announced a slate of Farm Service Agency state committee appointees in early January. State committees are responsible for overseeing the operation of government farm programs and carrying out FSA’s farm programs within delegated authorities.
5 farmers serve on Iowa FSA committee
State committees are appointed for a one-year term, which began Jan. 1. Each state committee has five members — one chair and four members. The new state committee from Iowa is:
• Ray Gaesser of Corning, chairman
• Nathan Anderson of Cherokee
• Laura Cunningham of Nora Springs
• Jim Stillman of Emmetsburg
• Pat Swanson of Ottumwa
“The FSA state committees help to ensure USDA is providing our farmers, ranchers, foresters and other agricultural producers with the best customer service,” Perdue says. “They serve as a liaison between USDA and the producers in each state across the nation by keeping them informed and hearing their appeals and complaints. The committees are made up mostly of active farmers and ranchers, representing their peers and ensuring USDA’s programs are supporting the American harvest.”
County committee elections
Farmers also serve on county FSA committees, elected by fellow farmers. The election of responsible agricultural producers to FSA county committees is important to all farmers and ranchers with large or small operations, Perdue says.
“It’s crucial that every eligible producer take part in this election because county committees are a direct link between the farm community and USDA committee members,” he adds. “This is a critical component of the day-to-day operations of FSA. They help deliver FSA farm programs at the local level. Farmers who serve on committees help decide the kind of programs their counties will offer. They work to make FSA agricultural programs serve the needs of local producers.”
State committee works with FSA state director
In November, USDA announced the appointment of Amanda DeJong as FSA state director for Iowa. As head of this agency, she works with the state FSA committee to gain input, advice and guidance in overseeing and carrying out various farm programs.
DeJong was formerly a senior policy adviser for the Iowa Corn Growers Association. In that job she worked on behalf of ICGA members on the farm bill, crop insurance, the Renewable Fuels Standard and trade issues. FSA state directors help implement USDA policies in planning, organizing and administering FSA programs in the state. They are also responsible for day-to-day activities of the state office.