For Immediate Release
July 7, 2011
Ethel Truly 601-965-4300, ext.102
WASHINGTON, July 7, 2011 – Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Bruce Nelson reminds all eligible African-American producers to participate in the ongoing FSA County Committee nomination and election process.
"African-American agricultural producers know the importance of having a voice on how decisions and policies are made on FSA programs, such as disaster and conservation programs, emergency programs, commodity price support loan programs and other agricultural issues that affect them," said Nelson. "FSA county committees are a vital link between the agricultural community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It is essential that all eligible African-American producers participate in the FSA County Committee process so that they are able to weigh in on the issues that are important to them."
African-American agricultural producers who participate or cooperate in an FSA program may be nominated for candidacy for the County Committee. Individuals may nominate themselves or others as a candidate. Additionally, organizations representing minority and women farmers or ranchers may nominate candidates. Nelson noted that by nominating eligible candidates by the August 1 deadline, all producers will have an opportunity to have their opinions and ideas heard on agricultural-related issues that affect them.
To become a candidate, an eligible individual must sign the nomination form, FSA-669A. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/elections
. Nomination forms for the 2011 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center by close of business on Aug. 1, 2011. Elections will take place this fall.
Members serve three-year terms. Nationwide, there are about 7,800 farmers and ranchers serving on FSA county committees. Committees consist of three to 11 members that are elected by eligible producers.
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 county committee election and reside in the local administrative area in which the person is a candidate. FSA will mail ballots to eligible voters beginning Nov. 4. The voted ballots are due back to the local county office either via mail or in person by Dec. 5. Newly elected committee members and alternates take office on Jan. 2, 2012.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call toll-free at 866-632-9992 (English) or 800-877-8339 (TDD) or 866-377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or 800-845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay).