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Hartselle Enquirer

Farm Service Agency accepts nominations for county committee members

Special to the Enquirer

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency began accepting nominations for county committee members June 15. Elections will occur in certain Local Administrative Areas for these members who make important decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally.

All nomination forms for the 2021 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by Aug. 2.

“We need enthusiastic, diverse leaders to serve other agricultural producers locally on FSA County Committees,” explained E. Nicole Cleggs-Burns, acting state executive director for FSA in Alabama. “Now’s your time to step up and truly make an impact on how federal programs are administered at the local level to reach all producers fairly and equitably.”

Cleggs-Burns said agricultural producers who participate or cooperate in a USDA program, and reside in the LAA that is up for election this year, may be nominated for candidacy for the county committee.

A cooperating producer is someone who has provided information about their farming or ranching operation to FSA, even if they have not applied for or received program benefits.

Individuals may nominate themselves or others, and qualifying organizations may also nominate candidates.

USDA encourages minority producers, women and beginning farmers or ranchers to nominate, vote and hold office.

Nationwide, more than 7,700 dedicated members of the agricultural community serve on FSA county committees. The committees are made up of three to 11 members who serve three-year terms.

Producers serving on FSA county committees play a critical role in the day-to-day operations of the agency. Committee members are vital to how FSA carries out disaster programs, as well as conservation, commodity and price support programs, county office employment and other agricultural issues.

LAAs are elective areas for FSA committees in a single county or multi-county jurisdiction. This can include LAAs that are focused on an urban or suburban area.

Producers can contact their local FSA office to register and find out how to get involved in their county’s election. They can check with their local USDA Service Center to see if their LAA is up for election this year.

To be considered, a producer must be registered and sign an FSA-669A nomination form. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections is available at fsa.usda.gov/elections.

Election ballots will be mailed to eligible voters beginning Nov. 1.

To find a local USDA Service Center, visit farmers.gov/service-locator.

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