This is a great time of the year for the Farm Service Agency (FSA), not just because of another successful American harvest, but because of the opportunity for agricultural communities throughout the country to vote for officials to represent them on FSA County Committees.
In my first year as FSA Administrator, I’ve traveled to 32 states and visited with farmers and ranchers from California to Maine. I know firsthand the impact of successfully delivered farm programs in rural communities all across this great nation. Working with county committee members while serving as FSA state executive director for California and now as Administrator, I have a deep appreciation for the essential role these farmer-elected committees play in connecting FSA with the needs of local producers.
County committees have been making a difference for producers for more than eight decades. They were originally established back in 1933 to ensure that local producers could provide input to the federal programs that offered financial assistance to farmers.
Today, nearly 7,700 FSA county committee members serve nationwide by applying their knowledge and judgment to make important decisions on commodity support programs, conservation programs, indemnity and disaster programs, emergency programs and eligibility. Each county committee has three to 11 elected members who serve three-year terms and one-third of county committee seats are up for election each year.
Producers elected to committees have always played a vital role in local agricultural decisions. They are essential to the daily operation of nearly 2,200 offices across the country. It is a valued partnership that helps us better understand the needs of the farmers and ranchers we serve.
That is why I am encouraging all eligible producers to vote during this year’s county committee elections. Through your vote, you are selecting someone from your county who will provide critical local input on FSA programs. The elections began Nov. 9, with the mailing of ballots to all eligible producers. Ballots must be completed and returned to the county office or postmarked by Dec. 7 to be counted. Voters who did not receive a ballot this week can pick one up at their local FSA office.
To learn more, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. Make your vote count!