The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) encourages America's farmers and ranchers to nominate candidates to lead, serve and represent their community on their local county committee. According to USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) Cleveland County Executive Director Bryon McMurry, FSA began accepting nominations for county committee members on Friday, June 15, 2018.
Producers across the country are already serving on committees where they play a critical role in the day-to-day operations of FSA, making important decisions on programs dealing with disaster and conservation, emergencies, commodity loan price support, county office employment and other agricultural issues.
"County committees are unique to FSA and allow producers to have a voice on federal farm program implementation at the local level," said McMurry. "It is also important that committees are comprised of members who fairly represent the diverse demographics of production agriculture for their community. I encourage all producers, including women, minority and beginning farmers and ranchers, to participate in the nomination and election process."
Nationwide, more than 7,700 dedicated farmers and ranchers serve on FSA county committees, which consist of three to 11 members and meet once a month, or as needed. Members serve three-year terms.
Producers can nominate themselves or others. Organizations, including those representing beginning, women and minority producers, may also nominate candidates to better serve their communities. To be eligible to serve on an FSA county committee, producers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program and reside in the area where the election is being held.
This year, nominations and elections for Cleveland County will be held in local administrative area 2, which includes Township 4-Kings Mountain, Township 5- Warlick, and Township 6-Shelby.
To be considered, a producer must sign an FSA-669A nomination form. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections, or from the Cleveland County FSA office. All nomination forms for the 2018 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by Aug. 1, 2018. Visit farmers.gov for more information.
Election ballots will be mailed to eligible voters beginning Nov. 5, 2018. Read more to learn about important election dates.
Submitted by Bryon McMurry