USDA's Farm Service Agency announced last week that the nomination period for this year's FSA county committee election begins on June 15, 2011. John Whitaker, state executive director for FSA in Iowa says, "Our FSA county committees operate under official regulations for federal farm programs. Committee members apply their judgment, experience and knowledge when making local decisions."
Individuals who serve on their local FSA county committee make decisions regarding producer's appeals; commodity price support loans and payments; conservation programs; employing county executive directors; incentive, indemnity and disaster payments for commodities; as well as for other farm disaster assistance.
"The committee election process is designed to give all producers a better chance of having their opinions and ideas expressed in the community, throughout FSA and the nation. Therefore, it is vital that we have a diverse committee, not only in the physical make up of the committee, but making sure we have representative from all forms of agriculture," adds Whitaker.
What are the requirements for becoming a candidate to serve?
USDA is committed to increasing the participation of all farmers on the FSA county committees, with an emphasis on women and minority farmers. Beginning farmers are also highly encouraged to become involved.
Some of the requirements for becoming a candidate to serve on a county committee include:
- Be of legal voting age
- Live in the LAA holding an election
- Participate or cooperate in a program administered by FSA
Individuals may nominate themselves or others as candidates. Additionally, organizations representing minorities and women may nominate candidates.
FSA county committee nomination period begins June 15
All nominees must sign nomination form FSA-669A, which includes a statement that the nominee agrees to serve if elected. Form FSA-669A is available at USDA Service Centers and online at: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. All nomination forms for the 2011 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center by close of business on August 1, 2011.
The county committee nomination period begins June 15, voting will take place in the fall. Ballots will be mailed to eligible voters by November 4. The final day to return voted ballots to the local USDA Service Center is December 5, 2011. Newly elected county committee members take office January 1, 2012.
Become involved by nominating and voting in your local FSA county committee process. For more information on the county committee election process, eligibility requirements or other programs administered by FSA, contact your local county office or visit FSA on-line at www.fsa.usda.gov.