The current Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, describes county committees as a “vital link between the farm community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.” Participation county committees offers eligible farmers and ranchers the opportunity to take part in the provision of federal farm programs and can help ensure that the needs of farmers are being met by these programs. The nomination period for Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees began on June 15th and will close on August 1st. RAFI’s Farmer Leadership Network is currently assisting farmers and ranchers who have an interest in participating in FSA county committees. For more information, please click here.
More Information from FSA To be eligible to serve on an FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in a program administered by FSA, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and reside in the local administrative area where the person is nominated.Farmers and ranchers may nominate themselves or others. To become a candidate, an eligible individual must sign the nomination form, FSA-669A. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. Nomination forms for the 2014 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center by close of business on Aug. 1, 2014. Elections will take place this fall. While FSA county committees do not approve or deny farm ownership or operating loans, they make decisions on disaster and conservation programs, emergency programs, commodity price support loan programs and other agricultural issues. Members serve three-year terms. Nationwide, there are about 7,800 farmers and ranchers serving on FSA county committees. FSA will mail ballots to eligible voters beginning November 3, 2014. Ballots are due back to the local county office either via mail or in person by December 1, 2014. Newly elected committee members and alternates take office on January 1, 2015.