Last updated: June 30. 2014 1:29PM - 141 Views
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ROCKINGHAM — The nomination period for Richmond County Farm Service Agency committees is open now through Aug. 1, local U.S. Department of Agriculture officials have announced.


To be eligible to serve on an FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in a program administered by FSA, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and reside in the local administrative area where the person is nominated.


“County committees are a vital link between the farm community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement. “I hope that every eligible farmer and rancher will participate in this year’s county committee elections. Through the county committees, farmers and ranchers have a voice; their opinions and ideas get to be heard on federal farm programs.”


Vilsack added, “We’ve seen an increase in the number of nominations of women and minority candidates, and I hope that trend continues.”


Farmers and ranchers may nominate themselves or others. Organizations representing minorities and women 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 at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.


Nomination forms for the 2014 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center by close of business on Aug. 1, 2014. Elections will take place this fall.


Completed nomination forms should be sent to the Richmond County FSA office at 123 Caroline St., Suite 400, Rockingham. For more informaton, call the office at 910-895-3950.


While FSA county committees do not approve or deny farm ownership or operating loans, they 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 that are elected by eligible producers.


FSA will mail ballots to eligible voters beginning Nov. 3, 2014. Ballots are due back to the local county office either via mail or in person by Dec. 1, 2014. Newly elected committee members and alternates take office on Jan. 1, 2015.

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