Nominations invited for county FSA committee

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BILL HARMON
The Farm Service Agency began accepting nominations Aug. 1 for candidates to run in the upcoming county committee election.

The annual election for the Marion County FSA County Committee will take place in November by mail-in ballot.

The county committee gives local producers a say in how federal farm programs are implemented in the county. The committee oversees the work of the county executive director, acts in an advisory capacity to the farm loan manager and is accountable to the state FSA committee.

Producers who are eligible to vote in the county committee election may nominate candidates. Nominees must also be eligible voters and must agree to serve on the committee if elected.

Eligible voters must be of legal voting age and have an interest in farmland as an owner, operator, tenant or sharecropper, or be eligible to participate in agency programs. The spouse of eligible voter may also vote and serve on the committee if nominated and elected.

Nomination forms will be available at the FSA county office. Only one nominee may be named on each form. Eligible voters may circulate and sign nomination forms for as many candidates as they choose.

The deadline to return nomination forms to a local FSA county office is Sept. 5.

In a change from previous elections, there is no required minimum number of nominees for the election.

In the past, if fewer than four candidates were nominated by producers, the county committee was required to nominate additional candidates.

Under the new rule, if no nominations are received, the county committee will nominate at least three candidates to complete the voter ballot slate.

If the county committee determines that socially disadvantaged groups-female and minority farmers-are not adequately represented, it will add nominees who can fairly represent the interests of these groups.

This year, producers having agricultural interests in the Marion County townships of Gale, Center, Grant, Wilson, Catlin, Fairplay, Doyle, Peabody, Summit, and Milton, which comprise Local Administrative Area No. 2, will elect one FSA county committee member to serve this region.

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