FSA accepting nominations for county committee members
Published 8:00 pm Friday, June 25, 2021
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) began accepting nominations for county committee members on June 15. Elections will occur in certain Local Administrative Areas (LAA) for these members who make important decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally. All nomination forms for the 2021 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by Aug. 2, according to a press release.
Lee Crawford, executive director for FSA in Freeborn County, said each year an election is held in a Local Administrative Area (LAA) where a committee member’s three-year term is expiring. For 2021, an election will be held in LAA 3, which includes Albert Lea, Hayward, Oakland, Freeman, Shell Rock and London townships.
“The Aug. 2 deadline is quickly approaching,” Crawford said. “If you know of a great candidate or want to nominate yourself to serve on your local county committee, contact your FSA office before the deadline to submit the nomination form. I especially encourage the nomination of beginning farmers and ranchers, as well as women and minorities.”
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Michelle Page, acting state executive director for FSA in Minnesota, said enthusiastic, diverse leaders are needed to serve other agricultural producers locally on FSA county committees.
“Now’s your time to step up and truly make an impact on how federal programs are administered at the local level to reach all producers fairly and equitably,” Page said.
She said agricultural producers who participate or cooperate in a USDA program, and reside in the LAA that is up for election this year, may be nominated for candidacy for the county committee. A cooperating producer is someone who has provided information about their farming or ranching operation to FSA, even if they have not applied or received program benefits. Individuals may nominate themselves or others and qualifying organizations may also nominate candidates. USDA encourages minority producers, women and beginning farmers or ranchers to nominate, vote, and hold office.
Nationwide, more than 7,700 dedicated members of the agricultural community serving on FSA county committees. The committees are made up of three to 11 members who serve three-year terms. Producers serving on FSA county committees play a critical role in the day-to-day operations of the agency.
Committee members are vital to how FSA carries out disaster programs, as well as conservation, commodity and price support programs, county office employment and other agricultural issues.
LAAs are elective areas for FSA committees in a single county or multi-county jurisdiction. This may include LAAs that are focused on an urban or suburban area.