End Rows for July 2, 2013

Friday, August 2, 2013

County Committee (COC) elections

The election of agricultural producers to Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees is important to ALL farmers and ranchers, whether beginning or long-established with large or small operations.

It is crucial that every eligible producer participate in these elections because FSA county committees are a link between the agricultural community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

County committee members are a critical component of the operations of FSA.

They help deliver FSA farm programs at the local level.

Farmers and ranchers who serve on county committees help with the decisions necessary to administer the programs in their counties.

They work to ensure FSA agricultural programs serve the needs of local producers.

County committees provide local input on:

-- Commodity price support loans and payments

-- Conservation programs

-- Incentive, indemnity and disaster payments for some commodities

-- Emergency programs

-- Payment eligibility

FSA county committees operate within official regulations designed to carry out federal laws.

County committee members apply their judgment and knowledge to make local decisions.

In Saline County, this year's election will be held in Local Administrative Area (LAA) 3 which includes Blackwater, Elmwood, Liberty, and Salt Pond Townships.

LAA 3 is currently represented by Donald Boland of Sweet Springs.

The nomination period began June 17 and ends Aug. 1.

To become a nominee, eligible individuals must sign nomination form FSA-669A which are available at the county office or online at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.

Individuals may nominate themselves or others as a candidate.

Eligibility to hold office

To hold office as a county committee member, a person must meet each of the following basic eligibility requirements:

--Participate or cooperate in a program administered by FSA

-- Be eligible to vote in a county committee election

--Reside in the LAA in which the person is a candidate

-- A person must not have been:

* removed or disqualified from the office of County Committee Member, Alternate, or Employee,

* removed for cause from any public office or have convicted of fraud, larceny, embezzlement or any other felony,

* dishonorably discharged from any branch of the armed services.

Conservation Reserve Program -- Mid-contract management

CRP participants who have completed their mid-contract management practices need to report this to the county office administering your contract.

If you have not started your mid-contract management practices yet, you cannot do so until July 16, after the primary nesting season ends.