The USDA Farm Service Agency is accepting applications for county committee members. Members make decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally. Nomination forms for the 2021 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by Aug. 2.
Producers who participate or cooperate in a USDA program, and reside in the area that is up for election this year, may be nominated for candidacy for the county committee. A cooperating producer is someone who has provided information about their farming or ranching operation to FSA, even if they have not applied or received program benefits.
People can nominate themselves or others. Qualifying organizations may also nominate candidates. USDA encourages minority producers, women and beginning farmers or ranchers to nominate, vote, and hold office.
“We need enthusiastic, diverse leaders to serve other agricultural producers locally on FSA County Committees,” FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux said. “Just as our nation’s agriculture industry is diverse from coast to coast, so are the viewpoints and experiences that you can represent on your local committee.”
Producers should contact their local FSA office today to register and find out how to get involved in their county’s election. To find your local USDA Service Center, visit farmers.gov/service-locator.
What about urban and suburban counties?
The 2018 Farm Bill directed USDA to form urban county committees as well as make other advancements related to urban agriculture. FSA established county committees specifically focused on urban agriculture.
The urban county committees will work to encourage and promote urban, indoor and other emerging agricultural production practices. Additionally, the new county committees may address areas such as food access, community engagement, support of local activities to promote and encourage community compost and food waste reduction.