USDA Farm Service Agency urges farmers and ranchers to vote in
county committee elections
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[November 12, 2013]
SPRINGFIELD -- Scherrie V.
Giamanco, state executive director for the Illinois Farm Service
Agency, announced last week that FSA county committee elections
began Nov. 4 with the mailing of ballots to eligible voters. The
deadline to return the ballots to local FSA offices is Dec. 2.
"The role and input of our county committee members is more
vital than ever at a time when our country faces important
choices regarding the funding and operation of our government,"
said Giamanco. "New county committee members provide input and
make important decisions on the local administration of disaster
and conservation programs. With better participation in recent
years, we have also seen promising increases in the number of
women and minority candidates, helping to better represent the
richness of American agriculture."
County committee members are an important component of the
operations of FSA and provide a link between the agricultural
community and USDA. Farmers and ranchers elected to county
committees help deliver FSA programs at the local level,
applying their knowledge and judgment to make decisions on
commodity price support programs, conservation programs,
incentive indemnity and disaster programs for some commodities,
emergency programs, and eligibility. FSA committees operate
within official regulations designed to carry out federal laws.
Agricultural producers in each county submitted candidate
nominations during the nomination period, which ended on Aug. 1.
To be an eligible voter in the committee elections, farmers
and ranchers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program. A
person who is not of legal voting age but supervises and
conducts the farming operations of an entire farm may also be
eligible to vote.
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Eligible voters who do not receive ballots this week can obtain them
from their local USDA Service Center. Dec. 2 is the last day for
voters to submit ballots in person to local USDA Service Centers.
Ballots returned by mail must also be postmarked no later than Dec.
Newly elected committee members and their alternates will take
office Jan. 1.
Close to 7,700 FSA county committee members serve in the 2,124
FSA offices nationwide. Each committee consists of three to five
members who serve three-year terms. Approximately one-third of
county committee seats are up for election each year. More
information on county committees, such as the new 2013 fact sheet
and brochures, is available on the FSA website at
www.fsa.usda.gov/elections or at a local USDA Service Center.
[Text from file received from
Illinois Farm Service Agency]