SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, November 29, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Illinois Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director, SED William J. Graff, today reminded farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers that FSA county committee elections began November 6, 2017 with the mailing of ballots. Eligible voters must return ballots to their local FSA offices by December 4, 2017, to ensure that their vote is counted. Producers who have not received their ballot should pick one up at their local FSA office.

Illinois Producers Reminded of Approaching Deadline to Submit Ballots for Farm Service Agency County Committee Elections

SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, November 29, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Illinois Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director, SED William J. Graff, today reminded farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers that FSA county committee elections began November 6, 2017 with the mailing of ballots. Eligible voters must return ballots to their local FSA offices by December 4, 2017, to ensure that their vote is counted. Producers who have not received their ballot should pick one up at their local FSA office.

"Producers only have a few more days until that December 4, 2017 deadline,” said SED Graff. "I urge all eligible farmers and ranchers, especially minorities and women, to get involved and make a real difference in their communities by voting in this year's elections. This is your opportunity to have a say in how federal programs are delivered in your county.”

Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than December 4, 2017. Newly elected committee members will take office January 1, 2018.

Nearly 7,700 FSA county committee members serve FSA offices nationwide. Each committee has three to 11 elected members who serve three-year terms of office. One-third of county committee seats are up for election each year. County committee members apply their knowledge and judgment to help FSA make important decisions on its commodity support programs, conservation programs, indemnity and disaster programs, and emergency programs and eligibility.

Producers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program to be eligible to vote in the county committee election. Approximately 1.5 million producers are currently eligible to vote. Farmers and ranchers who supervise and conduct the farming operations of an entire farm, but are not of legal voting age, also may be eligible to vote.

For more information, visit the FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. You may also contact your local USDA service center or FSA office. Visit http://offices.usda.gov to find an FSA office near you.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.