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Illinois State Office

State Executive Director

Scott Halpin

Scott Halpin

Read Scott Halpin'

State Office Address

3500 Wabash Ave.
Springfield, IL 62711-8287
(217) 241-6600 Ext: 2
(855) 800-1760

Welcome to the USDA-Illinois Farm Service Agency 

Scott Halpin, State Executive Director

Springfield, Illinois

Stabilizing farm income, helping farmers conserve land and water resources, providing credit to new or disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, and helping farm operations recover from the effects of disaster are the missions of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). FSA was set up when the Department was reorganized in 1994; though its name has changed over the years, the Agency’s relationship with farmers goes back to the 1930s. At that time, Congress set up a unique system under which Federal farm programs are administered locally. Farmers who are eligible to participate in these programs elect a three-to-five person county committee, which reviews county office operations and makes decisions on how to apply the programs. This grassroots approach gives farmers a much-needed say in how Federal actions affect their communities and their individual operations. After more than 60 years, it remains a cornerstone of FSA’s efforts to preserve and promote American agriculture.

Illinois Farm Service Agency State Committee

State Committee Chairperson

  • Steve Turner

State Committee Members

  • Erika Rae Allen
  • Johari Cole-Kweli
  • Ben Curtin
  • Brenda Hill

The State Committee responsibilities cover four major areas. They consist of the FSA and CCC commodity and conservation programs, COC operations, policy determinations and information available to public.

The State Committee, in conjunction with the SED, in carrying out responsibilities, determine and advise the COC’s of applicable program and administrative policies as authorized by: applicable regulations, instructions and procedures. This may involve applying national programs to meet local needs and conditions and exercising judgment based on the effect of program rules on producers.

For additional Organizational Structure please visit our FSA Structure and Organization webpage.


2023 Farm Service Agency County Committee Elections Open This Week

Fri Nov 17, 2023 11:32 am US/Central
SPRINGFIELD, Illinois, November 17, 2023 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently mailed ballots for the Farm Service Agency (FSA) county and urban county committee elections to all eligible agricultural producers and private landowners across the country.  Elections are occurring in certain Local Administrative Areas for these committee members who make important decisions about 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 December 4, 2023, for those ballots to be counted.

2023 USDA Farm Service Agency County Committee Elections

USDA began mailing ballots Nov. 6 for FSA county and urban county committee elections to all eligible agricultural producers and private landowners across the country. Elections are occurring in certain Local Administrative Areas.

To be counted, producers and landowners must return ballots to the local FSA county office or have postmarked by Dec. 4, 2023. County committees are unique to FSA and serve as a direct link between agricultural communities across the country and USDA. For more information on FSA county committees, visit fsa.usda.gov/elections.

Inflation Reduction Act Assistance for Distressed Borrowers

Since October 2022, USDA has provided approximately $1.5 billion in immediate assistance to more than 24,000 financially distressed direct and guaranteed FSA loan borrowers through the Inflation Reduction Act.

FSA is currently accepting individual requests for assistance from borrowers who took certain extraordinary measures to avoid delinquency on their direct FSA loans, missed a recent installment, or are unable to make their next scheduled installment.

Inflation Reduction Act Section 22007 – Discrimination Financial Assistance Program

The Discrimination Financial Assistance Program is a new program, authorized by Section 22007(e) of the Inflation Reduction Act, that will provide financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners who experienced discrimination in USDA farm lending programs prior to 2021.

Details about the program, including an application and e-filing portal, are available at 22007apply.gov. Applicants can also call the free call center at 1-800-721-0970

Filing an application is FREE and does not require a lawyer. The application period is open and runs through January 13, 2024.

Farm Service Agency Outreach and Education

To receive Outreach information directly to your inbox, subscribe today and select Outreach and Education.

Read more farmer stories in our weekly blogs:

National News Room Releases (usda.gov)

Urban Producers, Public Invited to Attend Federal Advisory Committee for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production

Wed Jul 27, 2022 03:23 pm US/Central

Farm Service Agency County Committees

Farm Service Agency county committees are a critical component of the day-to-day operations of FSA and allow grassroots input and location administration of federal farm programs. Nationwide, more than 7,700 dedicated members of the agricultural community serve on FSA county committees. The committees are made up of three to 11 members who serve three-year terms.

Elections will take place starting in November.

County committees are unique to FSA and serve as a direct link between agricultural communities across the country and USDA. For more information on FSA county committees, visit fsa.usda.gov/elections.

Fact Sheets

Chinese | Hmong | Korean | Punjabi | Spanish | Vietnamese


    Chinese | Hmong | Korean | Punjabi Spanish | Vietnamese

      County Committee Brochure (PDF)

      Please Read: Uniform Guidelines For Conducting Farm Service Agency County Committee Elections (Text 39 Bytes | PDF 66 KB)

      A new county committee election GIS locator tool is available to FSA customers providing the ability for you to identify the LAA you or your farming interests are located in.  You can search by one of these search methods:

      • Click the search box and type in an address
      • Click the Use Current Location, or
      • Use the map tools to zoom to the area you are interested in and click on the location within the map.
      Find My LAA

      Election Dates:

      June 15, 2023:
      The nomination period begins.

      August 1, 2023: Last day to file nomination forms at the local USDA Service Center. 

      November 6, 2023: Ballots mailed to eligible voters.

      December 4, 2023: Last day to return voted ballots to the USDA Service Center.

      January 1, 2024: Newly elected county committee members take office.

      Frequently Asked Questions
      Chinese | Hmong | Korean | Punjabi | Spanish | Vietnamese

      Nomination Forms:

      FSA Urban Ag County Committees

      USDA has selected FSA urban county committees to strengthen administration of FSA programs in urban areas. The 27 urban county committees include:

      • Phoenix, Arizona
      • Little Rock, Arkansas
      • Los Angeles, California
      • Oakland, California
      • Denver, Colorado
      • Atlanta, Georgia
      • Chicago, Illinois
      • New Orleans, Louisiana
      • Boston, Massachusetts
      • Detroit, Michigan
      • Grand Rapids, Michigan
      • Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
      • Jackson, Mississippi
      • St. Louis, Missouri
      • Kansas City, Missouri
                      • Albuquerque, New Mexico
                      • New York, New York
                      • Las Vegas, Nevada
                      • Cleveland, Ohio
                      • Portland, Oregon
                      • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
                      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
                      • Columbia, South Carolina
                      • Dallas, Texas
                      • Houston, Texas
                      • Memphis, Tennessee
                      • Richmond, Virginia

                      The urban county committees will work to encourage and promote urban, indoor, and other emerging agricultural production practices. Additionally, the 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.

                      Learn more by reading our Urban County Committee Elections Fact Sheet or FAQs.

                      Find Your Local Administrative Area

                      Fact Sheets

                      Chinese | Hmong | Korean | Punjabi | Spanish | Vietnamese


                      Chinese | Hmong | Korean | Punjabi Spanish | Vietnamese

                      County Committee Brochure (PDF)


                      Urban Agriculture County Committees Frequently Asked Questions
                      Chinese | Hmong | Korean | Punjabi | Spanish | Vietnamese

                      Nomination Forms:

                      United States Department Of Agriculture, Urban Agriculture Programs At a Glance 

                      Are you farming or gardening in a city or suburb?  From community gardens to indoor vertical farms, urban agriculture provides critical access to healthy food for local communities, as well as jobs, increased green spaces, and closer community ties. USDA can provide resources to start, expand, and operate your farm or garden, market what you grow, and help you recover in case of disaster.

                      (Click on picture below to view/download Urban Agriculture at a Glance brochure)

                      News Release 22-36: USDA Advances Food System Transformation with $43 Million for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production, Adds New Urban County Committees

                      On Wednesday, May 11, 2022, Illinois was very fortunate to have U.S. President Joe Biden and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, along with Robin Kelly, U.S. Representative, visit the Jeff and Gina O’Connor farm in Kankakee County.  Amongst the topics discussed during the Illinois farm visit was the plan to extend crop insurance coverage for farmers who practice double cropping (growing soybeans and wheat as two separate crops in the same field, in the same year). Many agriculture leaders were in attendance from several agriculture organizations as well as Erika Rae Allen and Ben Curtin – FSA State Committee members; Brian Frieden – Regional Director at USDA/Risk Management Agency (RMA); Ivan Dozier – State Conservationist at USDA/Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS); Betsy Dirksen Londrigan – State Director at USDA/Rural Development (RD); myself and my family.

                      Pictured in the photo above: U.S. President Joe Biden; Jeff O’Connor – Illinois, Kankakee farmer and Director on the Illinois Soybean Association board; along with U.S. Representative Robin Kelly and USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. (Photo credits to Catrina Rawson, Illinois Farm Bureau)

                      Pictured front row, left to right; Scott Halpin – State Executive Director (SED); Sarah Halpin – Scott’s wife; Deb Halpin – retired FSA employee of 30 years (Grundy county office) and mother of SED Scott Halpin; and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.  Back row left to right are Scott and Sarah Halpin’s children Ty, Cale, Grace Halpin and Frank Halpin – father of SED Scott Halpin.

                      New Hiring Process - Apply Now for Current and Future Openings with FSA in Illinois

                      Interested in a career with the Farm Service Agency (FSA)? There are several County Program Technician positions open throughout Illinois at various locations. Apply Now! 

                      Duties include general office activities supporting FSA programs administered at the field level. Successful applicants must be reliable, have a professional attitude and enjoy working with the public.

                      If you are interested or know of someone who might be interested, please share this information with them. To apply go to USAJOBS - Job Announcement

                      ***NEW TO ILLINOIS FSA'S HIRING PROCESS***

                      Didn't see a county you were interested in through the link above? FSA encourages any person who is interested in possible future employment with FSA in Illinois to apply to the CURRENT job posting.

                      Applying to this vacancy constitutes your understanding that your resume, assessment, and other application materials may be shared with other hiring managers within Illinois for future employment considerations.

                      Any applicants not selected to fill the current vacancies listed above could be used to fill future vacancies. Once summited, your application could be used to fill future vacant positions within Illinois FSA for the next 240 days!

                      USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

                      USDA to Invest $67 Million to Help Heirs Resolve Land Ownership and Succession Issues

                      USDA is providing $67 million in competitive loans through the new Heirs’ Property Relending Program, which aims to help agricultural producers and landowners resolve heirs’ land ownership and succession issues.

                      Intermediary lenders -- cooperatives, credit unions, and nonprofit organizations – can apply for loans up to $5 million at up to 1% interest once the Farm Service Agency (FSA) opens the two-month signup window in late August.  Visit www.farmers.gov/heirs/relending to learn more.

                      Coronavirus and USDA Assistance for Farmers

                      USDA has developed a detailed, data-driven COVID workplace safety plan that prioritizes the health and safety of our staff and visitors.

                      USDA Service Centers are open to visitors by appointment only. Contact your local Service Center to make an appointment. Service Center staff also continue to work with agricultural producers via phone, email, and other digital tools.

                      In addition to delivering our typical programs and services to producers, USDA is also offering relief to producers through programs and flexibilities through the Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative, a broad set of programs to help farmers, ranchers, and producers who felt the impact of COVID-19 market disruptions. 

                      Additionally, for information on USDA-wide response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit USDA's coronavirus response page.

                      Box and OneSpan: Secure, New Online Document Signature Solutions

                      FSA and NRCS have collaborated to deliver new, secure services for agricultural producers to access, sign, and share documents with USDA Service Center staff in just a few clicks. These tools are in place to improve efficiency for our customers working with USDA Service Centers and support safety measures related to the coronavirus pandemic.

                      Box and OneSpan support USDA’s mission of improved customer service now and into the future by increasing efficiency for our farmers and ranchers. By using these tools, our customers can digitally complete most business transactions with USDA without ever leaving their homes or agricultural operations. Learn More.

                      Sign in/Sign up!

                      Farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers have new online options to access U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs. Through USDA’s new streamlined process, producers doing business as an individual can now register, track and manage their applications for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) and 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (2017 WHIP) on the secure and convenient www.farmers.gov. USDA eAuthentication does not have the mechanism to issue login accounts to businesses, corporations, other entities, or for anyone acting on behalf of another individual or entity. Producers, doing business as an individual, first need to sign up for Level 2 eAuthentication access.

                      • Step 1: Create and online account at www.eauth.usda.gov
                      • Step 2: Complete identity verification by either using the online self-service identity verification method or by completing the identity verification in-person at your USDA Service Center.
                      • Step 3: Contact your local USDA Service Center to have your new Level 2 account linked with your USDA customer record
                      • Step 4: You’re enrolled and ready to log in

                      Users with a secure Level 2 eAuthentication ID, linked to their USDA customer record, can apply for select USDA programs, view and print farm maps and farm records data. Enrolling is easy! Visit farmers.gov/sign-in to learn more.

                      To locate a service center near you or use online services not requiring eAuthentication access, visit www.farmers.gov. For technical assistance, call the eAuthentication help desk at 1-800-457-3642.

                      Enrolling is simple.

                      New Feature on Farmers.gov

                      Farmers.gov just launched a new soil health page – farmers.gov/soilhealth. It’s the first of many topic pages which the site will feature, focusing on the needs of farmers, ranchers, and forest stewards. Visit the page and submit feedback to the farmers.gov team.

                      United States Drought Monitor/Illinois

                      Click here to view the Drought Monitor for Illinois

                      The National Office hosts avariety of Webinars regarding various subjects.

                      Below is a link that will connect you to the Webinars site. Feel free to participate and share these open webinars with anyone in your area that may be interested.

                      Outreach and Education Webinars

                      View Past Webinars here

                      Conduct USDA Business Online by creating an eAuthentication account

                      eAuthentication Account Registration

                      Click here for instructions on how to sign up for eAuth

                      Introducing FSAfarm+ -- FSA’s Customer Self-Service Portal--

                      A fast and easy way to access your FSA farm information, plus a lot more!

                      • Access your customer profile, farm records information and your maps.
                      • Print your farm records information, including crop bases and yields.
                      • Print your maps to use when reporting your annual crop acreage information.
                      • Export your field boundaries as common land unit for sharing with your crop insurance agent.
                      • Available to operators and owners with eAuth Level 2 access from USDA.

                      Contact your FSA County office for additional details and about obtaining eAuth Level 2 access to USDA.

                      Access FSAfarm+

                      eAuthentication Web Applications

                      Sign up to Receive News Releases 

                      To have news releases sent directly to your email go to the FSA subscription page.

                      Are you interested in FSA's Loan program and have questions.

                      Check out the FSA's Guide to Farm Loans.

                      This guidebook simplifies information on the types of farm loans available; how to apply for a guaranteed loan, direct loan, or land contract guarantee; what you can expect once you submit your application; and most importantly, your rights and responsibilities as an FSA customer.

                      Farm Loan Current Interest Rates

                      Farm Loan Program’s (FLP) new webpage has been launched! The new webpage is located at the following URL: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/dafl

                      FSA Offers New Loans for Portable Farm Storage and Handling Equipment

                      Can Help Producers Get Products to Market Quickly?

                      FSA provides a new financing option to help farmers purchase portable storage and handling equipment. The loans, which now include a smaller microloan option with lower down payments, are designed to help producers, including new, small and mid-sized producers, grow their businesses and markets. For more information, check out FSA's Farm Storage Facility Loan Program.

                      Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Current Interest Rates

                      Illinois Drought Information

                      Contact your local FSA Office

                      Contact your local FSA Office for additional information and other USDA benefits.

                      City of Springfield, Illinois

                      Located in the central part of the state, Springfield is the capital city of Illinois and the seat of Sangamon County.

                      Visit Springfield, Illinois/ Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

                      History / Illinois State Capitol / Geography / Demographics / Cityscape / Culture / Economy / Law and Government / Education / Infrastructure

                      SPRINGFIELD, Illinois, July 25, 2022 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) encourages urban producers and others to attend the second public meeting of the Federal Advisory Committee for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production on August 5, 2022.   The Committee will discuss new urban conservation practices, focus areas and priorities for the Commission, and the new Farm Service Agency (FSA) urban county committees, among other topics.

                      SPRINGFIELD, Illinois, November 17, 2023  county and urban county committee elections