Farmers Have a Voice in Local Farm Program Decisions

FSA County Committee Elections to Begin; Producers to Receive Ballots Week of Nov. 6

U.S. Department of Agriculture New York State Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting Executive Director Mark Dennis today announced that the USDA will begin mailing ballots to eligible farmers and ranchers for the 2017 FSA County Committee elections on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017. Producers must return ballots to their local FSA offices by Dec. 4, 2017, to ensure that their vote is counted.

“County committee members represent the farmers in our New York communities,” said Dennis. “Producers elected to these committees have always played a vital role in local agricultural decisions. It is a valued partnership that helps us better understand the needs of the farmers and ranchers we serve.”

Nearly 7,700 FSA County Committee members serve FSA offices nationwide. Each committee has three to 11 elected members who serve three-year terms of office. One-third of county committee seats are upfor election each year. County committee members apply their knowledge and judgment to help FSA make important decisions on its commodity support programs; conservation programs; indemnity and disaster programs; emergency programs and eligibility.

Dennis said producers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program to be eligible to vote in the county committee election.  Farmers and ranchers who supervise and conduct the farming operations of an entire farm, but are not of legal voting age, also may be eligible to vote.

Farmers and ranchers will begin receiving their ballots the week of Nov. 6. Ballots include the names of candidates running for the local committee election. Voters who did not receive a ballot can pick one up at their local FSA office. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than Dec. 4, 2017. Newly elected committee members will take office Jan. 1, 2018.

For more information, visit the FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.  You may also contact your local USDA Service Center or FSA office.  Visit http://offices.usda.gov to find an FSA office near you.

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