Ballots will soon be mailed to eligible voters for the 2010 Marion County FSA Committee. Producers in the county townships of Blaine, Clark, Clear Creek, Colfax, Durham Park, Logan, Lost Springs and Moore will receive election ballots and instructions for the selection of one candidate to serve as a county committee member for a three-year term beginning January 2011. 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. Farm Service Agency 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. The last day for voters to submit ballots in person to a local USDA Service Center is Dec. 6. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than Dec. 6. Voting by power of attorney or proxy is not allowed. The current county FSA committee will tabulate all valid ballots at 10 a.m. Dec. 13 in the Marion County USDA Service Center at 301 Eisenhower Drive, 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 fivemembers. Bill Harmon is executive director of the Marion County FSA office.