Nominations open for farm agency committees

Staff reports

The nomination period for local Farm Service Agency county committees begins June 15, according to a recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

County committees are made up of farmers and ranchers elected by other producers in their communities to guide the delivery of farm programs at the local level and play a critical role in the day-to-day operations of FSA, according to a news release from the USDA.

Committees consist of three to 11 members and meet once a month or as needed to make 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 more than 7,700 farmers and ranchers serving on FSA county committees.

Farmers and ranchers may nominate themselves or others. Organizations, including those representing beginning, women and minority producers, also may nominate candidates to better serve their communities.

To be eligible 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 being conducted.

After the nomination period, candidates will encourage the eligible producers in their local administrative area to vote.

FSA will mail election ballots to eligible voters beginning Nov. 6.

Ballots will be due back to the local county office either via mail or in person by Dec. 4, and 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 fsa.usda.gov/elections.

All nomination forms for the election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by Aug. 1.

Locate your local office at offices.usda.gov and visit to get more information.