Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced farmer and rancher candidate nominations began June 15 for local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees.
The nomination period continues through August 1, 2008. Elections take place this fall.
"I encourage all producers to participate in the county committee election process by nominating candidates by the August 1 deadline," said Schafer. "We are counting on as much participation as possible, because county committees are an important link between the farm community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We have seen a trend in recent years of increased nominations of minority and women producers and we hope that will continue."
According to Donny Green, County Executive Director for the DeKalb County Farm Service Agency, Committees apply their judgment and knowledge to make decisions on county commodity price-support loan eligibility, establishment of allotments and yields, conservation programs, disaster programs, employment and other farm program-related issues. Nationwide, there are more than 7,800 farmers and ranchers serving on FSA county committees.
Committees consist of three to five members who are elected by eligible local 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.
Nominees must reside in Local Administrative Area (LAA) # 2 which is described as the area that includes: West of a line where Hwy. 146 crosses the Cannon County line following Hwy. 146 north to Hodges Rd.; thence north to Tabernacle Rd.; following a line from Tabernacle Rd. to Dry Creek Rd.; west of Dry Creek Rd. to Hwy. 70 West; north of Hwy. 70 to Hwy. 96 North (Dale Ridge Rd.); west of Hwy. 96 North to Hwy. 141 (Wolf Creek Rd.);West of Hwy. 141 to Center Hill Dam; thence following the Caney Fork River north/northwest to the Smith County line; thence south of the Smith County line; thence east of the Wilson County line to the Cannon County line; northwest of the Cannon County line back to the intersection of Hwy. 146 and the DeKalb/Cannon County line. LAA # 2 generally covers the following communities in DeKalb County: Alexandria, Liberty, Dowelltown, Snow Hill, Temperance Hall, Dale Ridge, portions of Short Mountain, Dry Creek, Pea Ridge, Wolf Creek, and Lancaster.
Individuals may nominate themselves, or others, as a candidate. In addition, eligible candidates can be nominated by community-based and other organizations in the county where the election is being held before the close of the nomination period, especially groups representing socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers. Nominations and elections are open to all eligible candidates and voters without regard to race, color, religion, nation origin, age, sex, marital status or disability.
The nomination form (FSA-669A) is available at USDA Service Centers and online at: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/pas/publications/elections. For more information about FSA county committees, visit the DeKalb County USDA Service Center or call 615-597-8225, extension 2.