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USDA reminds area farmers, ranchers to vote in County Committee Election

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USDA reminds St. Francois, Iron, Madison, Washington county farmers and ranchers to vote in the County Committee Election

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has started mailing ballots for the Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committee elections to eligible farmers and ranchers across the country. To be counted, ballots must be returned to the St. Francois County FSA office or postmarked by Dec. 6.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has started mailing ballots for the Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committee elections to eligible farmers and ranchers across the country. To be counted, ballots must be returned to the St. Francois County FSA office or postmarked by Dec. 6.

"FSA county committee members provide valuable knowledge and judgment as decisions are made about the services we provide, including disaster and safety-net programs," said Joseph Stillman, county executive director for St. Francois, Iron, Washington, and Madison counties. "Please take a few minutes to review your ballot and make your selection prior to the Dec. 6 deadline."

Each committee has from 3 to 11 elected members who serve three-year terms of office, and at least one seat is up for election each year for a certain Local Administrative Area (LAA). Newly-elected committee members will take office Jan. 1. St. Francois County committee members help FSA make important decisions on its commodity support programs, conservation programs, indemnity and disaster programs, and emergency programs and eligibility.

The nominees up for election in LAA 5, which includes Liberty and Union townships in Iron County, is Charles Risher.

Risher is nominated to serve as a committee member for a three-year term. Risher lives in Annapolis and has produced livestock for over 35 years.

The nominee up for election in LAA 8, Madison County Townships Polk, St. Francois, Central, Liberty and Twelve Mile is Roger Stevens.

Stevens is nominated to serve as a committee member for a three-year term. He lives in Fredericktown's LAA 8 and is a livestock producer.

The nominee up for election in LAA 9, Madison County Townships Mine La Motte, St Michael, Castor, Marquand and Big Creek, is Ruth Skaggs.

Skaggs is nominated to serve as a committee member for a three-year term. Skaggs lives in Fredericktown in LAA 9.

Producers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program to be eligible to vote in the county committee election. A cooperating producer is someone who has provided information about their farming or ranching operation but may not have applied or received FSA program benefits. Also, for county committee elections, producers who are not of legal voting age, but supervise and conduct the farming operations of an entire farm, are eligible to vote.

Producers can find out if their LAA is up for election and if they are eligible to vote by contacting their local FSA county office. Eligible voters who do not receive a ballot in the mail can request one from their local FSA county office. Visit fsa.usda.gov/elections for more information.

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