Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Jonathan Coppess announced that the 2010 FSA county committee elections will begin today with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) mailing ballots to eligible voters. The deadline to return the ballots to local FSA offices is Dec. 6.
County committee members are an important component of the operations of FSA and provide a link between the agricultural community and USDA. Farmers and ranchers elected to county committees help deliver FSA 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. FSA committees operate within official regulations designed to carry out federal laws.
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 from their local USDA Service Center. Dec. 6 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. 6. Newly elected committee members and their alternates will take office Jan. 1, 2011.