Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Jonathan Coppess said today that the 2009 FSA county committee elections will begin Nov. 6, with ballots being mailed to eligible voters. The deadline to return the ballots to local FSA offices is Dec. 7, 2009.
County committee members are an important component of the operations of FSA and provide a link between the agricultural community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Farmers and ranchers who serve on county committees help deliver FSA farm programs at the local level, applying their knowledge and judgment to make decisions on commodity price support loans and payments, conservation programs, incentive indemnity and disaster payments for some commodities, emergency programs and payment eligibility.
To be an eligible voter, farmers and ranchers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program. Eligible voters who do not receive ballots in the coming week can obtain ballots at their local USDA Service Center. Dec. 7, 2009, is the last day for voters to submit ballots in person to local USDA Service Centers. Ballots returned by mail must also be postmarked no later than Dec. 7. Newly elected committee members and their alternates will take office Jan. 1, 2010.
More information on county committees, such as the new 2009 fact sheets and brochures, can be found on the FSA Web site at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.