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Nomination period under way for election to FSA committees

June 29, 2010

Farmer candidate nominations began June 15 for local Farm Service Agency county committees.

The nomination period continues through Monday, Aug. 2, with the election taking place by mail ballot between Friday, Nov. 5, and the close of business on Monday, Dec. 6.

In Washington County, the election is for Local Administrative Area No. 3, which is the part of the county west of Interstate 81 and south of Md. 68 running southeast from Williamsport and Alternate U.S. 40 in Boonsboro.

"I encourage all agricultural producers to participate in the nomination of county committee candidates by the Aug. 2 deadline," said Colleen Cashell, county executive director of the Washington County Farm Service Agency office. "We would like as much participation as possible since county committees provide a vital link and a voice for landowners and farmers to have opinions and ideas heard at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. With better participation in recent years, we also have seen a trend of increased nominations of minority and women producers that we hope will continue."

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To be eligible to serve on a Farm Service Agency county committee a person must participate or cooperate in a program administered by FSA, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and live in the local administrative area in which the person is a candidate.

Producers may nominate themselves or others and organizations representing minorities and women and beginning farmers also may nominate candidates.

To become a candidate, an eligible individual must sign the nomination form FSA-669A.

The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.

Nomination forms for the election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA service center by close of business on Aug. 2.

FSA county committee members make decisions on disaster and conservation programs, emergency programs, commodity price support loan programs and other agricultural issues.

Members serve three-year terms.

Nationwide, there are about 7,800 farmers and ranchers serving on FSA county committees.

Committees consist of three to 11 members who are elected by eligible producers.

FSA will mail ballots to eligible voters beginning Nov. 5.

The ballots are due back to the local county office either by mail or in person by Dec. 6. Newly elected committee members and alternates take office Jan. 1.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.

For more information, stop by 1260 Maryland Ave., Suite 107, Hagerstown, call 301-797-0500, ext. 2, or go to http://www.fsa.usda.gov.

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