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FSA committee voting continues

Special to The Hays Daily News

WASHINGTON -- Farm Service Agency Administrator Juan M. Garcia announced the 2012 FSA county committee elections began last week with the mailing of ballots to eligible voters. The deadline to return the ballots to local FSA offices is Dec. 3.

"The role and input of our county committee members is more vital than ever," Garcia said. "New county committee members provide input and make important decisions on the local administration of disaster and conservation programs. With better participation in recent years, we also have seen promising increases in the number of women and minority candidates."

Eligible voters who do not receive ballots in the coming week can obtain ballots from their local USDA Service Center. Dec. 3 is the last day for voters to submit ballots in person to local USDA Service Centers. Ballots returned by mail also must be postmarked no later than Dec. 3. Newly elected committee members and their alternates will take office Jan. 1.

To be an eligible voter, farmers and ranchers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program. A person who is not of legal voting age, but supervises and conducts the farming operations of an entire farm also might be eligible to vote. Agricultural producers in each county submitted candidate nominations during the nomination period, which ended Aug. 1.

More information on county committees, such as the new 2012 fact sheet and brochures, can be found at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections or at a local USDA Service Center.