The Washington County Farm Service Agency reminds farmers the nomination period for the County Committee election opened June 15 and runs until Aug. 1.
This year’s election is for farmers in local administrative area No. 1, which is the area defined as all of the county west of Interstate 81.
To be eligible to serve on a committee, an individual must participate in a program administered by FSA, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and live in the local administrative area in which the person is a candidate.
Farmers may nominate themselves or others, and organizations representing minorities and women also may nominate eligible candidates.
To become a candidate, an eligible individual must sign the nomination form FSA-669A. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available at the local USDA Service Center and online at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.
Nomination forms for the 2012 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center by close of business Aug. 1. Elections will take place this fall.
FSA will mail ballots to eligible voters in area No. 1 beginning Nov. 5. The completed ballots are due back to the local county office either via mail or in person by Dec. 3. Newly elected committee members and alternates take office Jan. 1, 2013.
Members serve three-year terms.
For more information, call Colleen Cashell, Farm Serice Agency executive director, at 301-797-0500, ext. 2.
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.
Nationwide, there are about 7,800 farmers and ranchers serving on FSA county committees. Committees consist of three to five members that are elected by eligible producers.
“I urge all farmers in LAA No. 1 to participate in this year’s county committee elections by nominating candidates by the Aug. 1 deadline,” Cashell said.
“County committees are a vital link between the farm community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture and provide a voice to landowners and farmers so that they have an opportunity for their opinions and ideas to be heard. With better participation in recent years, we have seen an increase in the number of nominations of women and minority candidates. I hope that trend continues.”