FSA seeks farmers for county committee

The Farm Service Agency is seeking interested farmers to serve as candidates for local county committee elections to be held this fall.

Nomination forms must be postmarked or received in the FSA county offices by close of business on Aug. 2. Committee elections take place this fall.

Marion County farmers and ranchers can nominate themselves or any other producer in Local Administration Area No. 1 to run for a seat on the committee. Organizations representing minorities and women farmers or ranchers are encouraged to nominate candidates, too.

LAA No. 1 includes Blaine, Clark, Clear Creek, Colfax, Durham Park, Logan, Lost Springs and Moore townships.

To hold office as a county committee member, a person must meet the basic eligibility requirements.?For example, the person must participate or cooperate in a program administered by FSA, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and reside in the local administrative area in which the person is a candidate.

The locally elected committees are responsible for making national farm programs fit the needs and situations faced by local farmers and ranchers, and bring local expertise and knowledge to USDA?s daily delivery of programs and services.

These committees also make decisions on commodity price support loans, conservation programs, disaster programs, employing county executive directors and other significant agricultural issues.

Committee members serve three-year terms. Nationwide, there are more than 7,800 farmers and ranchers serving on FSA county committees.

Nomination form FSA-669 is available at fsa.usda.gov/FSA.

A public educational meeting has been scheduled for 8 a.m. July 13 in the Marion County USDA Service Center at 301 Eisenhower Drive in Marion to explain responsibilities, the nomination process, and applicable deadlines for this year?s committee election.

After nomination requirements are met, FSA will mail ballots to producers beginning Nov. 6. The completed ballots are due back to the county office either via mail or in person by Dec. 7.

Newly elected committee members and alternates take office effective Jan. 1, 2011.

For details, contact the staff of the Marion County FSA office at 620-382-3714 or visit the office in Marion.

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Bill Harmon is executive director of the Marion County FSA office.

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