Laurie Fuess, County Executive Director of USDA's Farm Service Agency in Madison County recently announced that the county committee elections are in progress. Ballots were mailed to eligible voters in the townships of Hamilton, Brookfield, DeRuyter, Georgetown and Lebanon. Completed ballots must be returned by mail or to the FSA office by Dec. 6.
"I strongly recommend that producers vote because the county committee members play a huge role in the Agency, especially at the county level," said Fuess. "County committee members make decisions on how federal farm programs will be administered locally."
County committee members are elected to office by their peers and serve as the representative voice for agriculture producers in the county, and they are responsible for communicating with USDA to ensure that national programs are adapted to fit local needs. County committees are responsible for making decisions on issues including commodity loans and payments, conservation programs, disaster assistance programs and emergency programs.
Fuess said she encourages minority and female producers to serve as county committee members in the future. It is important that the county committee is comprised of members who reflect the demographics of the local agriculture community, she said.
Farmers who participate in FSA programs are eligible to vote. If eligible voters do not receive a ballot by mail, one will be provided by the FSA office, call us at 824-9076. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than Dec. 6. New county committee members will assume their role and related responsibilities on Jan. 1.
For more information on county committees, view the FSA website at fsa.usda.gov/elections or visit the Madison County FSA office at 6503 Wes Road in Hamilton.