WASHINGTON, D.C. The USDA Farm Service Agency is urging farmers and ranchers to vote in the upcoming County Committee elections.
Ballots were mailed out to eligible voters on December 20th. The deadline to return those ballots is January 17th. You can turn them in to the local FSA office.
Producers have been instructed to destroy the FSA County Committee Election ballots (FSA-669’s) mailed on Nov. 4. The new ballots mailed to producers will have the word “corrected” printed on the outside of the mailing, the ballot itself, and the return envelope. Producers must complete and return the corrected FSA-669 to have their vote counted.
Eligible voters who do not receive a ballot in the coming week can obtain one from their local USDA Service Center. The last day for voters to submit corrected ballots in person to local USDA Service Centers is Jan. 17, 2014. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than Jan. 17. Newly elected committee members and their alternates will take office Feb. 18, 2014.
In a press release, the USDA says that the county committee members are an important component of the operations of FSA and provide a link between the agricultural community and USDA. Farmers and ranchers elected to 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 for some commodities; 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. 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. Agricultural producers in each county submitted candidate nominations during the nomination period, which ended on Aug. 1.