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California | U.S. | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Racial Justice

150 years of drought, Farm Service Agency moves toward equity and equal opportunity
by michael harris ( blackagriculture [at] yahoo.com )
Wednesday Jul 25th, 2012 1:02 PM
California Black Agriculture Working Group continues our year-long statewide effort to increase job creation, career advance toward expanding agriculture economic development throughout the #1 Agriculture industry in the United States. Urban and Rural communities both require sound "Health and Wellness" based upon a fundamental foundaton of food and nutrition. The Farm Service Agency, the heart of USDA program participation, may allow appointed voting members of African ancestry in celebraton of 150 years of USDA programs, the drought may end soon... FSA Vision Statement: We shall transform into a more diverse and innovative Agency.

United States Department of Agriculture ~ Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Juan M. Garcia today reminded farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers that they have until Aug. 1, 2012, to nominate eligible candidates to serve on local FSA county committees.

“The last day to file your nomination form is about a week away," Garcia said. "Please get involved this year and nominate the candidate of your choice, or nominate yourself to serve on your local county committee. This is your opportunity to have a say in how federal programs are delivered in your county.”

FSA county committees help local farmers through their decisions on commodity price support loans, conservation programs and disaster programs, and by working closely with county executive directors.

To be eligible to hold office as a county committee member, individuals must participate or cooperate in a program administered by FSA, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and live in the local administrative area where they are running. A complete list of eligibility requirements, more information and nomination forms are available at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack hopes to appoint voting members from socially disadvantaged groups to serve on Farm Service Agency county committees in jurisdictions that lack fair representation. “Appointing new voting members to committees that lack representation will help ensure that county committees continue to play a vital and relevant role in delivering important federal farm programs to citizens of rural communities across our nation,” said Vilsack.

County committees serve as a direct link between the farm community and USDA and help deliver FSA farm programs at the local level

All nominees must sign the nomination form FSA-669A. All nomination forms for the 2012 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center by close of business on Aug. 1, 2012. Ballots will be mailed to eligible voters 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, 2013.