PICKENS COUNTY — The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director for Pickens and Greenville Counties, H. Glenn Thomas, wants to remind local Pickens County farmers and ranchers that they have until Aug. 1 to nominate eligible candidates to serve on the FSA county committee.
According to the organization, county committees are made up of farmers and ranchers elected by other producers in their communities to guide the delivery of farm programs at the local level.
Committee members play a critical role in the day-to-day operations of FSA, they said.
“The August 1 deadline is quickly approaching,” said Thomas. “If you know of a great candidate or want to nominate yourself to serve on your local county committee, visit your FSA office before the deadline to submit the nomination form. I especially encourage the nomination of beginning farmers and ranchers, as well as women and minorities. This is your opportunity to have a say in how federal programs are delivered in your county.”
Committees currently consist of three to 11 members and meet once a month (or as needed) to make important decisions on disaster and conservation programs, emergency programs, commodity price support loan programs, county office employment and other agricultural issues.
Nationwide, there are over 7,700 farmers and ranchers serving on FSA county committees, they said.
“We have a County Committee that is made up of two elected persons from Greenville County and one from Pickens County who meet and make decisions on the various programs that we offer. Each Committee person serves a three-year term and is eligible to serve 3 consecutive terms if elected,” said Thomas. “This year, the representative of Pickens County, Jeff Peppers, has completed his first three-year term is up and we are publicizing the position to see if others are interested in serving.”
To be eligible to serve on an FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in an agency administered program and reside in the local administrative area where the election is being held.
A complete list of eligibility requirements, more information and nomination forms are available at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.
All nominees must sign the nomination form FSA-669A. All nomination forms for the 2018 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA county office by Aug. 1, 2018.
Ballots will be mailed to eligible voters in Pickens County by Nov. 5 and are due back to the local USDA Service Centers on Dec. 3.
The newly elected county committee members will take office Jan. 1, 2019.