Farm Service news: Producers urged to vote in FSA elections

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 20, 2004

Farmers, ranchers and other eligible voters are urged to cast ballots in the local USDA Farm Service Agency’s County Committee elections before the Dec. 6 deadline, stressed Melanie Lassiter, executive director for Suffolk’s FSA.

&uot;The deadline to submit ballots is rapidly approaching, so eligible producers need to vote soon,&uot; said Lassiter.

&uot;It is crucial that all farmers and ranchers in Suffolk vote in this election to give them a voice in how FSA programs are administered in our area.&uot;

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Ballots were mailed to eligible voters earlier this month.

Eligible producers who did not receive ballots should contact their local FSA offices immediately.

Ballots must be returned to FSA offices or postmarked by Dec. 6.

All ballots will be counted publicly by Dec. 20.

Elections may be challenged by nominees within 15 days after the results of an election are posted.

Newly elected committee members and alternates take office Jan. 1, 2005.

FSA County Committees oversee local FSA operations.

They make decisions on commodity price support payments and eligibility, conservation programs, disaster assistance and other agricultural issues.

Established in 1936, the County Committee system works to make federal agricultural programs serve the needs of local producers.

Every committee has three to five elected members.

More than 8,000 County Committee members serve in more than 2,300 FSA offices nationwide.

This year, approximately one-third of those seats are up for election.