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Albert C. Beatty was re-elected to represent local administrative area (LAA) 3 on the Bladen County Farm Service Agency Committee, it was announced Wednesday. LAA-3 consist of Central, Colly, Cypress Creek, Frenches Creek, Lake Creek, Turnbull, and White Oak townships.

Patricia M. Johnson will serve as the first alternate.

Other members of the committee are Josh Vendrick and Chris White. Joyce Walters serves as an advisor. Meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency county committee members are a critical component of the day-to-day operations of FSA. They help deliver programs at the county level and work to serve the needs of local producers. All recently elected county committee members will take office in January and will be joining the existing committee. Every FSA office is required to have a county committee, and they are made up of local farmers, ranchers and foresters who are elected by local producers.

Nearly 7,800 FSA county committee members serve FSA offices nationwide. Each committee has three to 11 elected members who serve three-year terms of office. One-third of county committee seats are up for election each year. County committee members impact the administration of FSA within a community by applying their knowledge and judgment to help FSA make important decisions on its commodity support programs, conservation programs, indemnity and disaster programs, emergency programs and eligibility.

County committee members impact producers through their decision making and help shape the culture of a local FSA office. They also ensure the fair and equitable administration of FSA farm programs in their counties and are accountable to the Secretary of Agriculture. Members conduct hearings and reviews as requested by the state committee, ensure underserved farmers, ranchers and foresters are fairly represented, make recommendations to the state committee on existing programs, monitor changes in farm programs and inform farmers of the purpose and provisions of FSA programs. They also assist with outreach and inform underserved producers such as beginning farmers, ranchers and foresters, about FSA opportunities.

For more information, visit the FSA website at fsa.usda.gov/elections or contact the Bladen County FSA office at 910-862-3179.