USDA accepting nominations for FSA committees | SteamboatToday.com

USDA accepting nominations for FSA committees

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced today that the nomination period for local Farm Service Agency county committees begins Wednesday, June 15.

"County committees allow farmers and ranchers to make important decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally to best serve their needs," said Acting FSA Administrator Chris Beyerhelm in a news release. "We strongly encourage all eligible producers to visit their local FSA office today to find out how to get involved in their county's election. There's an increasing need for representation from underserved producers, which includes beginning, women and other minority farmers and ranchers."

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. Committee members play a critical role in the day-to-day operations of FSA. Committees consist of three to 11 members and meet once per month or as needed to make important 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 farmer and ranchers serving on FSA county committees.

Farmers and ranchers may nominate themselves or others. Organizations, including those representing beginning, women and minority producers, may also 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 held.

FSA will mail election ballots to eligible voters beginning Nov. 6, and ballots will be due back to the local county office via mail or in person by Dec. 4. Newly elected committee members and alternates will take office Jan. 1.

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 2017 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by Aug. 1.  For more information, visit local office at offices.usda.gov.