The Ascension and St. James Parish Farm Service is accepting applications for its county committees, Agency County Executive Director Jeffrey G. Dufresne said.
Farmers and ranchers have until Aug. 1 to apply for the committees, which make decisions on disaster and conservation programs, emergency programs, commodity price support loan programs and other agricultural issues, Dufresne said.
The election to the committee is set from Nov. 5 to Dec. 3.
“I encourage all producers to participate in the nomination of county committee candidates by the August 1 deadline,” Dufresne said. “We would like as much participation as possible since county committees provide a vital link and a voice for landowners, farmers and ranchers 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.”
On June 4, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced his intention to appoint voting members in socially disadvantaged counties that lack fair representation.
To be eligible to serve on a Farm Service Agency county committee a resident 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 resident is a candidate, Dufresne said.
Producers may nominate themselves or others and organizations representing minorities and women also may nominate candidates. To become a candidate, an eligible individual must sign nomination form FSA-669A. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.
Newly elected committee members and alternates take office Jan. 2.