SPRINGFIELD – United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Illinois Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director (SED) Scherrie V. Giamanco has announced county committee election nominations began June 17. Farmers, ranchers and landowners are encouraged to nominate farmer and rancher candidates to serve on their local FSA county committee by the Aug. 1 deadline.
Elected county committee members serve a three-year term and are responsible for making decisions on FSA disaster, conservation, commodity and price support programs, as well as other important federal farm program issues.
"County committees are unique to FSA and are a valuable resource that gives locally elected farmers and ranchers who participate in FSA programs the opportunity to impact farm programs at the local level," said Giamanco. "I hope to see a high level of participation during the nomination and election process."
Producers may nominate themselves or others as candidates. Organizations that represent minority and women farmers and ranchers may also nominate candidates. Nominees must participate in a program administered by FSA, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and reside in the local administrative area (LAA) in which the person is a candidate. To become a nominee, eligible individuals must sign form FSA-669A. The form and more information about county committee elections are available online at: www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.
"In order to have fair representation of the demographics and agricultural interests in the community, I encourage all producers, including women, minority and beginning farmers and ranchers to participate in the nomination and election process," said Giamanco.
County committees are comprised of three to five members elected by local producers. All newly elected county committee members and alternates will take office Jan. 1, 2014.
Nomination forms must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center by close of business on Aug. 1.
For more information about the programs and loans administered by FSA, visit any FSA county office or www.fsa.usda.gov.