County executive directors for the Farm Service Agency (FSA) remind farmers and ranchers that 2012 FSA county committee elections are underway, as ballots have been mailed to all known eligible voters. The deadline for eligible voters to return ballots to their local FSA offices is Dec. 3.

County executive directors for the Farm Service Agency (FSA) remind farmers and ranchers that 2012 FSA county committee elections are underway, as ballots have been mailed to all known eligible voters. The deadline for eligible voters to return ballots to their local FSA offices is Dec. 3.
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. USDA-FSA urges 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 election.
Committee members apply their knowledge and judgment to make decisions on commodity price support loans and payments; conservation programs, incentive, indemnity and disaster payments for some commodities; emergency programs and payment eligibility. 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 this past summer.
Eligible voters, who did not receive a ballot, may obtain ballots at their local parish FSA office. Remember, ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than Dec. 3. Newly elected committee members and alternates will take office Jan. 1, 2013.
Close to 7,700 FSA county committee members serve in 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 annually. For more information about FSA county committees and FSA programs, visit: http://www.fsa.usda.gov.