Benavides, TX (June 30) Duval County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director CED Martin J. Garcia, announced that the nomination period for local FSA county committees began on June 15. Nomination forms must be postmarked or received in the Duval County FSA Office by close of business on Aug. 3.

"County Committees are unique to FSA and allow producers to have a voice on federal farm program implementation at the local level," said CED Garcia.

To be eligible to serve on the FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in an agency administered program, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and reside in the Local Administrative Area (LAA) where they are nominated.

This year, nominations and elections will be held in LAA 3, which includes San Diego, Rosita, Freer, Seven Sisters communities.

Producers may nominate themselves or others as candidates. Organizations representing minority and women farmers and ranchers may also nominate candidates. To become a nominee, eligible individuals must sign form FSA-669A. The form and more information about county committee elections is available online at: www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.

Elected county committee members serve a three-year term and are responsible for making decisions on FSA disaster, conservation, commodity and price support programs, as well as other important federal farm program issues. County committees consist of three to 11 members.

"It is important that county committees are comprised of members who fairly represent the diverse demographics of production agriculture for their community," said CED Garcia. "All producers, including women, minority and beginning farmers and ranchers are encouraged to participate in the nomination and election process."

FSA will mail election ballots to eligible voters beginning Nov. 9. Ballots are due back in the Duval County Office by mail or in person no later than Dec. 7. All newly elected county committee members and alternates will take office January 1, 2016.