Producers in Montana are urged to vote in elections to provide local leadership for important Farm Service Agency programs. Ballots were mailed Dec. 20 and are due Jan. 17.
Producers are advised to destroy FSA County Election ballots jailed Nov. 4 due to an error. The new mailing on Dec. 20 corrected the error, and should be used in the election.
Eligible voters who did not receive a ballot can obtain one from their local USDA Service Center.
Montana county committee members are an important component of the operations of the state FSA, who provide a link between their local ag community and the USDA. Farmers and ranchers elected to the county committees help deliver FSA programs at the local level, applying their knowledge and judgment to make decisions on commodity price support programs, conservation programs, incentive indemnity and disaster programs, emergency programs and 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 in Montana.
A person who is not of legal voting age, but who operates, supervises and conducts the farming operations of an entire farm may also be eligible to vote, but those persons should check with their local FSA office to determine whether they should have been issued ballots.
Ag producers in each Montana county submitted candidate nominations during the nomination period in 2013, a program which ended on August 1.
Close to 7,700 FSA county committee members served the FSA nationally in the past year, connected with nearly 2,125 FSA offices throughout the U.S.
Each committee consists of 11 members who serve three-year terms. About a third of the county committee seats are up for election each year.
For more information on county committees, a fact sheet and brochures may be found at the FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections or at local USDA Service Centers.