The USDA encourages farmers and ranchers to make their voices heard by voting in the current Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Committee elections.
Starting Nov. 3, USDA mailed ballots for the 2014 elections to eligible producers across the country.
Producers must return ballots to their local FSA offices by Dec. 1, 2014 to ensure their vote is counted.
FSA County Committee members provide an important link between the local agricultural community and USDA.
Farmers and ranchers elected to county committees help deliver FSA programs at the local level, applying their knowledge and judgment to make decisions on commodity support programs; conservation programs; indemnity and disaster programs; emergency programs and eligibility.
County committees operate within official regulations designed to carry out federal laws.
To be an eligible voter, farmers and ranchers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program. A person who is not of legal voting age, but supervises and conducts the farming operations of an entire farm may also be eligible to vote.
Eligible voters who do not receive ballots in the coming week may pick one up at their local USDA Service Center or FSA office.
Newly elected committee members and their alternates will take office Jan. 1, 2015.