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County FSA Elections

Be proactive, rather than reactive- County Committee Elections

         It is important for one to stand for what they believe in and take an active role in one’s community. Effective leadership is crucial to any community or organization. One of the steps of having effective leadership in any community or organization is to ensure that the right people are in those crucial leadership roles.  An effective leader understands the issues at-hand, is knowledgeable in his/her area, knows the proper ways to motivate others, embraces change, can work in a variety of settings and with a variety of personalities, and involves the group or followers in important decision-making. That being said, remember that a leader is not only a political figure or someone that is well-known, but a leader can be a farmer, local businessmen/women, or anyone in a community or organization.  One that leads others should be proactive rather than reactive; he/she should plan and effectively lead others with the group’s vision in mind.  It is frustrating to hear others complain about various political leaders when often times those complaining never took the time to vote or understand the issue(s) at hand. 

            One important election at hand in this area is the election of responsible agricultural producers to FSA County Committees.  This is important to ALL farmers with large or small operations.  County Committees are a direct link between the farm community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Committee members are a critical component of the day-to-day operations of FSA.  They help deliver FSA farm programs at the local level.  They work to make FSA agricultural programs serve the needs of local producers. Committees make decisions on: commodity price support loans and payments, conservation programs, incentive and disaster payments, and other farm disaster assistance. FSA committees operate within official regulations designed to carry out Federal laws.  Committee members apply their judgment and knowledge to make local decisions.

Nominations
To become a nominee for the COC, eligible individuals must sign nomination form FSA-669A. The form includes a statement that the nominee agrees to serve if elected. This form is available at Service Centers and online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.  Nomination forms for the 2011 election must be postmarked or received in the local Service Center by close of business August 1, 2011.

Agricultural producers who participate or cooperate in an FSA program may be nominated for candidacy for the county committee. Individuals may nominate themselves or others as a candidate. Additionally, organizations representing minority and women farmers or ranchers may nominate candidates. Nomination forms are filed for the COC in the office that administers a producer’s farm records.

Election Period
August 1, 2011 – Last day to file nomination forms at the local Service Center
November 4, 2011 – Ballots mailed to eligible voters
December 5, 2011 – Last day to return voted ballots to the Service Center
January 2, 2012 – Newly elected COC members take office

Additional election information may be found at: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. Producers may contact their local Service Center for more information.

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