Farmers and ranchers who want to have a hand in implementing Farm Service Agency (FSA) programs now have a chance to do so. The nomination period to serve on this body begins June 15, 2011 and runs through August 1, 2011.
“County committees guarantee the fair and equitable administration of FSA programs,” said CED Michael. “The nomination process ensures the committees reflect their local demographics and assist the agency with implementing programs.”
The three-to-five person committees are the place producers can appeal most agency decisions. Committees also make decisions helping to determine program payments. The committees meet approximately once a month.
To be eligible for involvement, producers must participate or cooperate in at least one Farm Service Agency program, and be of legal-voting age. Nomination forms must be submitted to the local FSA office.
“This is the opportunity for producers to represent their fellow farmers and ranchers and be a vital link with the federal government,” CED Michael said.
Each county committee draws its members from local administrative areas. Counties are broken up into administrative areas for the purposes of voting. Local Administrative Area (LAA) # 3 includes all of North King County from Interstate 90 to the Snohomish County Line. The second Local Administrative Area (LAA) up for election is LAA # 4 which includes all of Clallam County.
Candidates must live in the local administrative area they will represent and must be eligible to vote in the county election. Members serve on staggered three year terms so that one-third of the seats are up for reelection each year. Committee members are compensated for official duty hours.
After more than 70 years, the county committee structure remains a cornerstone of FSA’s efforts to preserve and promote American agriculture, according to CEDMichael.