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Farm agency elections under way

November 10, 2009

Colleen Cashell, executive director of USDA's Farm Service Agency in Washington County, announced that the 2009 FSA county committee elections started Friday.

The deadline for eligible voters to return ballots to their local FSA offices is Monday, Dec. 7.

Agricultural producers in each county submitted candidate names during the nomination period held last summer. Close to 8,000 FSA county committee members meet monthly at more than 2,300 FSA offices nationwide. Each committee consists of three to five members who serve three-year terms.

In Washington County, voting occurs for one of the three Local Administrative Areas (LAA) of the county each year. This year, the election is held for LAA No. 1, the area west of Interstate 81.

Committee members apply their knowledge and judgment to make decisions on disaster and conservation payments, establishment of yields, producer appeals, employing FSA county executive directors and other local issues. FSA committees operate within official regulations designed to carry out federal laws.

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To be an eligible voter, farmers must be eligible to participate or cooperate in FSA programs. A person who is not of legal voting age, but who supervises and conducts the farming operations of an entire farm, can also vote. Eligible voters who do not receive ballots in the coming week can obtain ballots at their local USDA Service Center.

Newly elected committee members and alternates take office on Jan. 1.

For more information, go to www.fsa.usda.gov.

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