The nomination period for local Farm Service Agency county committees begins next Wednesday, June 15. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urges - all farmers and ranchers to participate in this year's county committee elections by nominating candidates by the August 1 deadline. County committees are a vital link between the farm community and USDA and provide a voice to landowners, farmers and ranchers so they have an opportunity for their opinions and ideas to be heard.
To be eligible to serve on an FSA county committee, 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. Farmers and rancher may nominate themselves or others, and organizations representing minorities and women also may nominate candidates.
To become a candidate, an eligible individual must sign the nomination form available online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. While FSA county committees do not approve or deny loans, they make decisions on disaster and conservation programs, emergency programs, commodity price support loan programs and other agricultural issues. Members serve three-year terms. FSA will mail ballots to eligible voters beginning November 4.