On June 15 USDA's Farm Service Agency began accepting nominations for people to serve on FSA county committees. Agricultural producers who participate or cooperate in an FSA program may be nominated for candidacy for the county committee. Individuals may nominate themselves or others as a candidate. Elections will be held in November. Interested farmers are encouraged to apply.
"FSA county committees are a vital link between the farm community and USDA," says U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. "I hope every eligible farmer will participate in this year's county committee elections. Through the county committees, farmers have a voice; their opinions and ideas regarding federal farm programs get to be heard." He adds, "We've seen an increase in the number of nominations of women and minority candidates, and I hope that trend continues."
Committee helps set policy for USDA/FSA farm programs
To become a candidate, an eligible individual must sign the nomination form, FSA-669A. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available online. Nomination forms for the 2014 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center by close of business on Aug. 1, 2014. Elections will take place this fall.
While FSA county committees do not approve or deny farm ownership or operating loans, they make decisions on disaster and conservation programs, emergency programs, commodity price support loan programs and other ag issues. Members serve three-year terms. Nationwide, there are about 7,800 farmers and ranchers serving on FSA county committees. Committees consist of three to 11 members elected by eligible producers. FSA will mail ballots to eligible voters beginning Nov. 3, 2014. Ballots are due back to the local county office either via mail or in person by Dec. 1, 2014. Newly- elected committee members and alternates take office on Jan. 1, 2015.