The U.S. Department of Agriculture started mailing ballots to all eligible producers and landowners this week for the Farm Service Agency elections.
Elections are happening in certain Local Administrative Areas for these committee members who decide how federal farm programs are administered locally. Producers and landowners must return ballots to their local FSA county office or have their ballots postmarked by Dec. 5 in order for those ballots to be counted.
“County committees provide an opportunity for producers to play a meaningful role in delivering farm programs, but in order for county committees to be effective, they must truly represent all who are producing,” says FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux. “Voting in these elections is your opportunity to help ensure our county committees reflect the diversity of our agriculture. Your voice and vote matter, don’t miss your chance to cast your ballot.”
Producers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program to be eligible to vote in the county committee election. A cooperating producer is someone who has provided information about their farming or ranching operation but may not have applied or received FSA program benefits. Additionally, producers who are not of legal voting age but supervise and conduct farming operations for an entire farm are eligible to vote in these elections.
Each committee has from three to 11 elected members who serve three-year terms, and at least one seat representing an LAA is up for election each year. Newly elected committee members will take office Jan. 1, 2023.
Producers can find out if their LAA is up for election and if they are eligible to vote by contacting their local FSA county office. Eligible voters who do not receive a ballot in the mail can request one from their local FSA county office.