The 2017 Farm Service Agency County Committee Elections began on Nov. 6, when ballots were mailed to eligible voters. The deadline to return the ballots to local FSA offices is Dec. 4.
County committee members are an important component of the operations of FSA and provide a link between the agricultural community and USDA. Farmers and ranchers elected to county committees help deliver FSA programs at the local level, applying their knowledge and judgment to make decisions on commodity price support programs; conservation programs; incentive indemnity and disaster programs for some commodities; emergency programs and eligibility. FSA committees operate within official regulations designed to carry out federal laws.
To be an eligible voter, farmers and ranchers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program. A person who is not of legal voting age, but supervises and conducts the farming operations of an entire farm may also be eligible to vote.
Eligible voters in the Harnett County Local Administrative Area (LAA) II which includes Black River, Buckhorn, Hector’s Creek, Lillington and Neill’s Creek townships, who do not receive a ballot can obtain one from their local USDA Service Center. Dec. 4 is the last day for voters to submit ballots in person to local USDA Service Centers. Ballots returned by mail must also be postmarked no later than Dec. 4. Newly elected committee members will take office Jan. 1, 2018.
The candidates in this year’s election are:
• Richard G. Sears resides in the Fuquay-Varina area and produces tobacco, soybeans and other small grains and grasses. Mr. Sears is currently serving on the county committee along with being on the board of directors for Harnett County Farm Bureau and the Northwest Harnett Fire Department.
• Cynthia J. Johnson resides in the Fuquay-Varina area, also. She assists her husband with their poultry operation and with their family farm which produces corn, rye, wheat and soybeans. Mrs. Johnson is currently serving as the county committee adviser and has served on the board of directors for the Harnett County Farm Bureau and the N.C. Farm Bureau Poultry Advisory Committee.
More information on county committees, such as the new 2017 fact sheet, can be found on the FSA website at www.fsa.usda. gov/elections or at a local USDA Service Center.