(Elizabethtown, NC), June 1, 2016 –Bladen County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director CED Chris Tatum, announced that the nomination period for local FSA county committees began on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
“County Committees are unique to FSA and allow producers to have a voice on federal farm program implementation at the local level,” said Tatum.
To be eligible to serve on a FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in an FSA administered program, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and reside in the local administrative area (LAA) where they are nominated.
This year, nominations and elections will be held in LAA 3, which includes Central, Colly, Cypress Creek, Frenches Creek, Lake Creek, Turnbull, and White Oak Townships.
Farmers and livestock producers may nominate themselves or others. Organizations representing minorities and women also may nominate candidates. To become a candidate, an eligible individual must sign an FSA-669A nomination form. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. 2016 nomination forms must be postmarked or received in the Bladen County FSA Office by close of business on Aug. 1, 2016.
Elected county committee members serve a three-year term and are responsible for making decisions on FSA disaster, conservation, commodity and price support programs, as well as other important federal farm program issues. County committees consist of three to 11 members.
“It is important that county committees are comprised of members who fairly represent the diverse demographics of production agriculture for their community,” said Tatum. “All producers, including women, minority and beginning farmers and ranchers are encouraged to participate in the nomination and election process.”
FSA will mail election ballots to eligible voters beginning Nov. 7, 2016. Ballots must be returned to the Bladen county FSA office via mail or in person by Dec. 5, 2016. Newly-elected committee members and alternates will take office on Jan. 1, 2017.
For more information about county committees, please contact the Bladen County FSA office at 910-862-3179 or visit www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.