SAN BENITO — The nomination period for local Farm Service Agency county committees has begun.
“County committees are unique to FSA and allow producers to have a voice on federal farm program implementation at the local level,” said Cristobal Perez, executive director of the Cameron County USDA Farm Service Agency.
To be eligible to serve on an FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in an FSA administered program, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and reside in the local administrative area where they are nominated.
This year, nominations and elections will be held in Area 1, which includes Bluetown, La Feria, Santa Rosa and the surrounding communities.
Farmers and livestock producers may nominate themselves or others. Organizations representing minorities and women also may nominate candidates. To become a candidate, an eligible individual must sign an FSA-669A nomination form. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.
Nomination forms for 2016 must be postmarked or received in the Cameron County FSA Office by close of business on Aug. 1.
Elected county committee members serve a three-year term and are responsible for making decisions on FSA disaster, conservation, commodity and price support programs, as well as other important federal farm program issues. County committees consist of three to 11 members.
“It is important that county committees are comprised of members who fairly represent the diverse demographics of production agriculture for their community,” Perez said.
“All producers, including women, minority and beginning farmers and ranchers are encouraged to participate in the nomination and election process.”
FSA will mail election ballots to eligible voters beginning Nov. 7. Ballots must be returned to the Cameron County FSA office via mail or in person by Dec. 5. Newly-elected committee members and alternates will take office on Jan. 1, 2017.
For more information about county committees, contact the Cameron County FSA office at 956-399-1311 or visit www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.