Farm service agency county committee election underway
Ballots will be mailed to eligible voters this month to eligible voters in the following Local Administrative Areas (LAA): Lincoln County – LAA 3, former Harts, Laurel Hill, Jefferson and Sheridan Districts in Lincoln County; and Logan/Mingo Counties – LAA 5, entire Logan and Mingo counties. December 2, 2013, is the deadline for eligible voters to return ballots to their local FSA offices. Ballots will be counted at the Hamlin Area USDA service center conference room on December 9, 2013, at 10:30a.m. Newly elected members will take office on January 1, 2014, for a three year term.
Nominees for Lincoln County LAA 3 include incumbent L. G. (Mike) Bates from Branchland who has served on the County Committee for twenty years off and on. Mr. Bates, who began farming in 1950, is a cow/calf producer who also raises hay. Activities include member of the Pleasant View Baptist Church.
Also running in Lincoln County LAA 3 is Harold Wilson from Branchland who has been farming since 2004. Mr. Wilson is a cow/calf producer who also raises hay.
Nominees for Logan/Mingo Counties LAA 5 include Jack Ball from Chapmanville who has been farming since 1993. Mr. Ball is a cow/calf producer and stated he would be pleased to serve and help the community farmers.
Also running in Logan/Mingo Counties LAA 5 is D Gail Toth from Chapmanville who has been farming since 1963. Mrs. Toth produces garden crops of potatoes, sweet corn, green beans and tomatoes. Activities include member of Vietnam Veterans Chapter 308, previous Girl Scout leader and soccer coach, and Calvary Free Will Baptist Church member. Mrs. Toth’s advice is to pray, live, love and laugh!
The FSA county committee system is unique among government agencies, because it allows producers to make important decisions concerning the local administration of federal farm programs. All eligible agricultural producers, especially minorities and women, are encouraged to get involved and make a real difference in their communities by voting in this year’s election.
Committee members apply their knowledge and judgment to make decisions on disaster and conservation payments, establishment of allotments and yields, producer appeals, employing FSA county executive directors and other local issues. FSA committees operate within official regulations designed to carry out federal laws.
To be an eligible voter, agricultural producers must participate or cooperate in FSA programs. A person who is not of legal voting age, but supervises and conducts the farming operations of an entire farm, can also vote. Agricultural producers in each county submitted candidate names during the nomination period that ended in August 2013.
For more information about FSA county committees and FSA programs, visit: http://www.fsa.usda.gov.
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