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Deadline looms for nominating committee member

August 31, 2004

Colleen Cashell, executive director for USDA's Farm Service Agency in Washington County, said Monday farmers and other agricultural producers have only a few more days to nominate producers from local area #3, the southern third of the county, to serve on FSA's County Committee.

Producers can request, fill out and submit nomination forms to FSA through Friday, Cashell said. Visit the local office at 1260 Maryland Ave., Suite 107, Hagerstown, or call it at 301-797-0500, ext. 2.

Forms also are available online at forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/eforms/mainservlet

"Farmers who serve on FSA County Committees play an important role in oversight of our farm programs," she said. "They help ensure that we serve the needs of our local producers.

"We need greater participation in this year's county election process," she said.

The County Office Committee system was established in 1936.

Today, there are more than 8,000 committee members serving three-year terms in 2,300-plus county offices nationwide. Every year, elections are held for about a third of these seats.

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The committees make decisions on commodity price-support loan eligibility, establishment of allotments and yields, conservation programs, disaster programs, employment and other FSA issues.

Any agricultural producer, who lives in the administrative area from which a member is being elected, or who is participating or cooperating in an FSA program, may be nominated. Eligible to participate are owners, tenants, a spouse listed on the deed, a partner, and others.

Individuals may nominate themselves or others as a candidate. In addition, eligible candidates can be nominated by community-based organizations.

Also, Cashell said, Oct. 1 is the deadline to register with her office to receive a ballot by mail.

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