Matthew Peplinski, Marathon County Executive Director of USDA's Farm Service Agency announced that ballots for the 2011 FSA county committee elections will be mailed to eligible voters November 4, 2011. The deadline for eligible voters to return ballots to their local FSA offices is December 5, 2011.
"The FSA county committee allows producers to make important decisions concerning the local administration of federal farm programs," said Peplinski. "I urge all eligible farmers and ranchers, especially minorities and women, to get involved in their communities by voting in this year's elections."
To be an eligible voter, farmers and ranchers must participate or cooperate in FSA programs. A person who is not of legal voting age, but supervises and conducts the farming operations of an entire farm, can also vote. Agricultural producers in each county submitted candidate names during the nomination period held last summer.
Eligible voters who do not receive a ballot can obtain ballots at their local USDA Service Center. December 5, 2011, is the last day for voters to submit ballots in person to local USDA Service Centers. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than December 5.
Committee members apply their knowledge and judgment to make decisions on disaster and conservation payments, establishment of allotments and yields, producer appeals, employing FSA county executive directors and other local issues. Newly elected committee members and alternates take office January 1, 2012.
For more information about FSA county committees and FSA programs, visit: http://www.fsa.usda.gov.