Farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers have until Aug. 1, to nominate eligible candidates to serve on local Farm Service Agency county committees.
"County committees play a vital role in the administration of federal farm programs and the positive effect they have on rural communities," says Linda Hennen, state executive cirector of the USDA's Farm Service Agency
FSA county committees make decisions on commodity price support loans, conservation programs, disaster programs, employing county executive directors and other significant agricultural issues.
To hold office as a county committee member, a person must participate or cooperate in a program administered by FSA, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and reside in the local administrative area in which the person is a candidate. A complete list of eligibility requirements is posted online at: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/Internet/FSA_File/fsa_ccelections_2011.pdf.
Individuals may nominate themselves or others as candidates. Additionally, organizations representing minorities and women may nominate candidates. 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://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/efcommon/eFileServices/eFormsAdmin/FSA0669A_110331V01.pdf.
All nomination forms for the 2011 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center by close of business on Aug 1, 2011.
The county committee nomination period begins June 15. Voting takes place in the fall. Ballots will be mailed to eligible voters by Nov 4 The final day to return voted ballots to the local USDA Service Center is Dec 5. Newly elected county committee members take office Jan 2, 2012.
For more information about FSA county committees, visit a local USDA Service Center or online at: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/webapp?area=newsroom&subject=landing&topic=cce.