Donny Green, County Executive Director of the DeKalb/Cannon County Farm Service Agency, has announced that the 2013 FSA county committee elections are underway. Ballots were mailed to eligible voters in Local Administrative Area (LAA) # 3 of DeKalb County and Local Administrative Areas # 4 and # 5 on Nov. 4. Dec. 2 is the deadline for eligible voters to return ballots, either post marked in the mail or delivered in person, to their local FSA offices.
“The FSA county committee system is unique among government agencies, because it allows producers to make important decisions concerning the local administration of federal farm programs,” said Green. “I urge all eligible farmers and ranchers, especially minorities and women, to get involved and make a real difference in their communities by voting in this year's elections.”
Committee members apply their knowledge and judgment to make decisions on disaster and conservation payments, establishment of allotments and yields, producer appeals, employing FSA county executive directors and other local issues. FSA committees operate within official regulations designed to carry out federal laws.
To be an eligible voter, farmers and ranchers must participate or cooperate in FSA programs. A person who is not of legal voting age, but supervises and conducts the farming operations of an entire farm, can also vote. Agricultural producers in each county submitted candidate names during the nomination period held last summer.
Eligible voters in DeKalb County LAA # 1 or Cannon County LAA’s # 4 or # 5 who do not receive a ballot can obtain a ballot at 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 be postmarked no later than Dec. 2. Newly elected committee members and alternates take office January 1, 2014.
Close to 7,700 FSA county committee members serve in the 2,124 FSA offices nationwide. Each committee consists of three to 11 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, can be found on the FSA website atwww.fsa.usda.gov/elections or at a local USDA Service Center.