Calling all farmers! Do you want to stand up for your interests in a meaningful way? Go straight to the source and vote in your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committee election!
What are FSA County Committees?
Every FSA service center in the country is required by law to host an advisory committee made of and elected by local farmers. FSA county committees are responsible for administration and oversight of federal farm programs on a local level and are made up of farmers operating in the county. These committees play a huge role in determining who is eligible for loans, disaster funding, and conservation assistance in their area. Voting in these elections is a direct line to representing your interests in county policy.
Am I eligible to vote?
If you receive any form of assistance from your county FSA office, you are probably eligible.
Every county is divided into districts, and only seats in certain districts are up for election every year.
If you receive FSA assistance and are in the right district, you should have received a ballot in the mail.
How do I vote?
You can vote either by mail or in-person. If you vote by mail, postmark your ballot by December 1st. You can also vote in-person until 5pm on December 1st at your local FSA.
What if I lost my ballot?
If you lost your ballot, you can pick up another one at your local FSA service center in-person; they will not send you a copy.
Will my vote even matter?
Absolutely! As of 2012, less than 10% of eligible farmers in North Carolina voted in their local county committee elections. With such a low turnout, your vote matters even more. Every ballot sent in is another step closer to making sure family farmers are heard.
Who is running?
Stay tuned over the coming week as RAFI highlights a few candidates from our Farmer Leadership Network that we support!
I have more questions.
Program Manager & Farmer Liaison
Farmer Leadership Network Initiative
[email protected], (919) 548-6825