The 2014 Jackson FSA County Committee nomination period is underway. The nomination period began June 15 and continues through Aug. 1, 2014. Farmers and ranchers in Local Administrative Area 1 (see map) will nominate and elect an individual to represent them for a three-year term on the local Farm Service Agency County Committee. Elections will take place this fall in LAA 1 which includes Warren, Blair, Martha, Friendship, Duck’s Corner, and Headrick.
“I encourage all producers to participate in the County Committee election process by nominating candidates by the Aug. 1 deadline,” said Josefy. “We are soliciting nominees of active farmers and/or ranchers to serve on the committee. As a committee member, Cary Pat Wallace has faithfully represented producers from this area for the past eight years and will be leaving due to term limits, so a new person will need to be elected to the committee this fall.”
To be eligible to serve on an FSA County Committee, a person must participate or cooperate in a program administered by FSA, be eligible to vote in a committee election and reside in the local administrative area in which the person is a candidate. Producers may also nominate themselves, and organizations representing minority and women may also nominate candidates.
Eligible voters can place nominees on the slate of nominees. To place a nominee on the slate of nominees, complete form FSA-669A Nomination for County FSA Committee Election. If the nomination is completed by someone other than the nominee, the nominee must also sign the form indicating a willingness to serve. The nomination form and other valuable information about FSA County Committee elections are available at the Jackson County FSA Office and online at: http://www.fsa.usda.gov ; click on Newsroom, then County Committee Elections. Nomination forms for the 2014 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center, 3100 N Main Street, Suite C, in Altus, OK, by close of business Aug. 1, 2014. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Note: tribal members are eligible voters if they own land or their tribe has an agricultural land interest in the LAA that is holding an election. They are also eligible to serve on the County Committee.
Nationally, committees consist of three to five members who are elected by eligible local producers (Jackson County Committee has three members). FSA County Committee members make decisions on disaster and conservation programs, emergency programs, commodity price support loan programs and other important agricultural issues. Members serve three-year terms. Nationwide, there are more than 7,800 farmers and ranchers serving on FSA County Committees. The FSA County Committee sets rental rates for the Conservation Reserve Program, supervises the operations of the county office, including the hiring of the County Executive Director that delivers FSA programs. Committees serve a key role in USDA’s check and balance appeals system. When there’s a question about the fairness of the application of programs, it’s the County Committee that helps resolve the issues.
Between 2003 and 2006, the number of minority and women farmers and ranchers nominated as candidates to FSA County Committees nationwide increased 35 percent. Additionally, the number of African American producers nominated as candidates tripled during the same period. Nominations of minorities and women to the County Committee are encouraged.
The County Committee usually meets the first Tuesday of each month for 2 to 4 hours; however, there could be times when the committee would be asked to meet more often. County Committee members will be reimbursed for their vehicle expenses to attend the monthly meetings at the current rate of $0.56/mile. County Committee members are paid at a rate of $16.89/hour.
This year’s election in LAA 1 takes place from November 3 through Dec. 1, 2014. The nominee with the most votes will serve a three-year term. The newly elected committee member and alternate(s) take office Jan. 1, 2015.
For more information on FSA County Committees and nominations or FSA programs, call (580) 482-4312, Extension 2, or visit the office at 3100 N Main Street, Suite C, in Altus, Oklahoma.