Farm Service Agency Administrator Jonathan Coppess says it is important that all American farmers and ranchers, including minority and women producers, participate in the 2009 FSA county committee elections which begin Friday. The election ends Dec. 7, 2009. Coppess says county committee members provide input and make important decisions on among other things, the local administration of new disaster and conservation programs under the 2008 Farm Bill.
County committee members help deliver FSA farm programs at the local level, applying 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 an FSA program. A person who is not of legal voting age, but supervises and conducts the farming operations of an entire farm may also be eligible to vote. Eligible voters who do not receive ballots in the coming week can obtain ballots at their local USDA Service Center.