Farmers and ranchers: It’s that time of year again. The Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) 2016 County Committee Elections begin soon. Your FSA county committees are a vital and direct link between our farm community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
I encourage all eligible farmers and ranchers, especially women, minorities and beginning farmers, to get involved by making a nomination and voting in this year’s county committee elections. This is a great podium for your concerns and opinions to be heard. Don’t miss this opportunity.
Your concerns can reach the decision makers if you don’t happen to become a committee member yourself. FSA county committees operate within official federal regulations so that local input is provided on federal programs such as:
• Income safety-net loans and payments, including setting county average yields for commodities
• Conservation programs
• Incentive, indemnity and disaster payments for some commodities
• Emergency programs
• Payment eligibility
Your knowledge and experience can only assist your community by keeping them thriving and informed. We need to hear from you. You won’t have to watch things happen while other decision-makers decide things that affect your business. You’ll be a part of the process to ensure your concerns are addressed. Why sit on the side lines, when you can run the ball?
The nomination period began June 15 and runs through Aug. 1. You can nominate yourself or anyone of legal voting age who participates or cooperates in an FSA program.
Visit nomination forms and other information at: www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. Forms must be postmarked by close of business Aug. 1.
Gene Davidson is the state executive director, Tennessee USDA Farm Service Agency.