Ballots mailed for FSA county committee

Ballots for this year?s Marion County Farm Service Agency committee election have been mailed to eligible voters.

Producers in the Marion County townships of Blaine, Clark, Clear Creek, Colfax, Durham Park, Logan, Lost Springs and Moore received election ballots and instructions for the selection of one candidate to serve as a county committee member for a three-year term beginning in January 2008.

The county committee system allows producers to make important decisions concerning the local administration of federal farm programs.

Committee members apply their knowledge and judgment to make decisions on disaster and conservation payments, establishment of acreage allotments and yields, hearing producer appeals, and employing county executive directors.

FSA committees operate within official regulations designed to carry out national U.S. Department of Agriculture laws.

To be an eligible voter, farmers and ranchers must participate or cooperate in FSA programs. Eligible voters who did not receive ballots but feel they should have, may obtain ballots at the county USDA Service Center.

Voters are cautioned that after their vote is cast, they must sign the return ballot envelope in the designated area in order for their ballot to be counted as valid.

Dec. 3 is the last day for voters to submit ballots in person to local USDA service centers. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than Dec. 3. Voting by power of attorney or proxy is not allowed.

The current county FSA committee shall tabulate all validly cast ballots at 10 a.m. Dec. 10 in the Marion County USDA Service Center at 301 Eisenhower Drive in Marion.

This activity is open for public attendance and review.

Close to 8,000 FSA county committee members meet monthly at more than 2,300 FSA offices nationwide. Each committee consists of three to five members.

For more information about FSA county committees and FSA programs, visit:

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

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