For Immediate Release
November 4, 2011
Ethel Truly 601-965-4300, ext.102
JACKSON, Miss., Nov.4, 2011 - USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Mississippi Executive Director Michael R. Sullivan announced that the 2011 FSA county committee elections begin today, Nov. 4, with the mailing of ballots to eligible voters. The deadline to return the ballots to local FSA offices is the close of business on Dec. 5, 2011. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than Dec. 5.
"The role of our county committee members is more vital today than ever," said Sullivan. "County committee members provide input and make important decisions on the local administration of disaster, commodity price support and conservation programs. With better participation in recent years, we have also seen promising increases in the number of women and minority candidates, helping to better represent the totality of American agriculture." FSA committees operate within official regulations designed to carry out federal laws.
Newly elected committee members and their alternates will take office Jan. 1, 2012, for a three year term. Agricultural producers nominated candidates during the nomination period that ended on Aug. 1.
Eligible voters who do not receive ballots should contact their local FSA county office staff.
Approximately one-third of county committee seats are up for election each year. Farmers and ranchers eligible to vote are those who participate or cooperate in an FSA program in a local administrative area holding an election. A person who is not of legal voting age, but supervises and conducts the farming operations of an entire farm may also be eligible to vote.
More information on county committees, such as the new 2011 fact sheet and brochures, can be found on the FSA website at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/elections
or at a local FSA county office.
No otherwise eligible person will be denied the right to vote because of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation or marital or family status.