Steve Maurer, State Executive Director of USDA’s Ohio Farm Service Agency announced that the 2010 FSA county committee elections ballots will be mailed to eligible voters November 4. Dec. 5, 2011, is the deadline for eligible voters to return ballots to their local FSA offices.
“The FSA county committee system is unique among government agencies, because it allows producers to make important decisions concerning the local administration of federal farm programs,” said Maurer. “I urge all eligible farmers and producers, especially minorities and women, to get involved and make a real difference in their communities by voting in this year’s elections.”
Committee members apply their knowledge and judgment to make decisions on disaster and conservation payments, establishment of allotments and yields, producer appeals, employing FSA county executive directors and other local issues. FSA committees operate within official regulations designed to carry out federal laws.
To be an eligible voter, farmers and producers must participate or cooperate in FSA programs. A person who is not of legal voting age, but supervises and conducts the farming operations of an entire farm, can also vote. Agricultural producers in each county submitted candidate names during the nomination period held last summer.
Eligible voters who do not receive ballots in the coming week can obtain ballots at their local FSA office. Dec. 5, 2011, is the last day for voters to submit ballots in person to their local FSA office. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than Dec. 5. Newly elected committee members and alternates take office Jan. 1, 2012.