RALEIGH — The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency Acting Executive Director for North Carolina, Lorraine Dillard, last week reminded farmers and ranchers that they have until Aug. 1 to nominate eligible candidates to serve on local FSA county committees.
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 a 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.
“The Aug. 1 deadline is quickly approaching,” said Dillard. “If you know of a great candidate or want to nominate yourself to serve on your local county committee, go to your county FSA office right now and submit the nomination form. I especially encourage the nomination of beginning farmers and ranchers, as well as women and minorities. This is your opportunity to have a say in how federal programs are delivered in your county.”
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. A complete list of eligibility requirements, more information and nomination forms are available at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.
All nominees must sign the nomination form FSA-669A. All nomination forms for the 2017 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA county office by Aug. 1, 2017. Ballots will be mailed to eligible voters by Nov. 6 and are due back to the local USDA Service Centers on Dec. 4. The newly elected county committee members will take office Jan. 1, 2018.