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USDA Farm Service Agency County Committee nominations open June 15
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USDA Farm Service Agency County Committee nominations open June 15

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Peanut harvest

Peanuts are harvested in the Floridan file photo.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture encourages farmers and ranchers to nominate candidates to lead, serve and represent their community on their local county committee.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency will accept nominations for county committee members beginning Friday, June 15.

Producers across the country are already serving on committees where they play a role in the day-to-day operations of FSA, making decisions on programs dealing with disaster and conservation, emergencies, commodity price loan support, county office employment and other agricultural issues.

“Our county committees make decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally to best serve the needs of agriculture in their community,” said Acting FSA Administrator Steve Peterson. “We strongly encourage all eligible producers to visit their local FSA office today to find out how to get involved in their county’s election. There’s an increasing need for representation from underserved producers, which includes beginning, women and other minority farmers and ranchers.”

Nationwide, more than 7,700 farmers and ranchers serve on FSA county committees, which consist of 3- 11 members and meet once a month, or as needed. Members serve three-year terms.

Producers can nominate themselves or others. Check your local USDA service center to see if your local administrative area is up for election this year. Organizations, including those representing beginning, women and minority producers, may also nominate candidates to better serve their communities. To be eligible to serve on an FSA county committee, producers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program and reside in the area where the election is being held.

To be considered, a producer must sign an FSA-669A nomination form. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.

All nomination forms for the 2018 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by Aug. 1. Visit farmers.gov for more information. The Jackson County FSA, at 2741 Penn Ave., Suite 8, in Marianna, can be reached at 850-633-6456.

Election ballots will be mailed to eligible voters beginning Nov. 5.

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