This week the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) began mailing out ballots to all eligible farmers and landowners so they can vote in their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committee elections. Counties are divided into typically three Local Administrative Areas (LAA.) The terms are staggered with one of LAA's having an election each year. This way there will always be members with experience on the local FSA County Committee.

"Now is your opportunity to elect fellow farmers and ranchers in your community to serve on the local county committee," said FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneux. "These committees are a critical piece to the work we do by providing knowledge and judgment as decisions are made about the services we provide. Your voice matters."

County FSA Committee members must follow the general guidelines of the Farm Bill and other Farm Programs. However, there can be a little flexibility. Plus, if there are violations FSA County Committee members have a role to play in resolving the issue.

To be eligible to vote farmers and landowners must participate in or cooperate with any FSA program. Even if you did not receive any benefits, if you reported your acres to the FSA  you would be eligible to vote. In addition if you are not of legal age but "conduct or supervise farm operations of an entire farm" you are eligible to vote. If you have questions contact the FSA office at your local Government Services Center.

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