FSA County Committee Elections Now Underway
Officials of the Farm Service Agency are reminding area farmers that ballots are in the mail. FSA County Executive Director Les Zobrist says the 2010 FSA county committee election ballots have been mailed to eligible voters in Local Administrative Area (LAA) #2, which consists of Fairfield, Freedom, Emmetsburg, Great Oak, and Silver Lake townships. The deadline to postmark or return ballots to the local FSA offices is Dec. 6, 2010.
“All eligible farmers and ranchers can make a difference by voting in this year’s county committee elections,” said Zobrist. “County committee members provide important input and make local decisions on the administration of agricultural programs that fall under the 2008 Farm Bill. I particularly encourage minority and women producers to get involved.”
County committee members are an important part of FSA and provide a link between the agricultural community and USDA. Farmers and ranchers elected to county committees help deliver FSA programs on commodity loans and payments; conservation programs; incentive indemnity and disaster payment; emergency programs and payment eligibility on the local level. FSA 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 also may be eligible to vote. Agricultural producers in each county submitted candidate nominations during the nomination period, which ended on Aug. 2.
Eligible voters who did not receive ballots can obtain ballots from their local USDA Service Center. December 6, 2010, is the last day for voters to postmark or submit ballots in person to their local FSA office. Ballots will be counted Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 9:00 a.m. The newly elected committee members and their alternates will take office January 1, 2011.
Close to 7,900 FSA county committee members serve in the 2,244 FSA offices nationwide. Each committee consists of three to 11 members who serve three-year terms. Approximately one-third of county committee seats are up for election each year. More information on county committees, fact sheets and brochures, can be found on the FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections or at a local USDA Service Center.