According to Josh Lewis, executive director of the Mason County USDA Farm Service Agency, farmers, ranchers and landowners have until Aug. 1 to nominate farmer and rancher candidates to serve on the local FSA County Committee.
All elected county committee members serve a three-year term and are responsible for making decisions regarding FSA disaster, conservation, commodity and price support programs as well as other important federal farm program issues. Producers may nominate themselves or others as candidates. Organizations that represent minority and women farmers and ranchers also may nominate candidates. Nominees must participate in a program administered by FSA; be eligible to vote in a county committee election; and reside in the local administrative area (LAA), in which the person is a candidate.
Lewis described the local FSA committee as being very important to the area.
“County committee members are a valuable asset because they are local producers who participate in FSA programs themselves and have a direct connection to farmers and ranchers in the community,” he said. “I would like to see a high level of participation in this year’s nomination and election process.”
Lewis continued by describing how the FSA Committee reflects the local community.
“It is important that the county committee reflects the demographics and agricultural interests of the community these individuals represent,” he said. “I strongly encourage all producers, including women, minority and beginning farmers and ranchers to participate in the nomination and election process.”
County committees are comprised of three to five members elected by local producers. All newly elected county committee members and alternates will take office January 2, 2012. To become a nominee, eligible individuals must sign form FSA-669A. The form and more information about county committee elections are available online at the Web site, www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.
Nomination forms must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center by close of business on August 1, 2011.
For more information about county committees, contact the Mason County FSA office at 304-675-2020 or visit www.fsa.usda.gov.