As of Nov. 9, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has mailed ballots for the Farm Service Agency county committee elections to eligible farmers and ranchers across the U.S.


Ballots need returned to voters’ local FSA county office or postmarked by Dec. 7 in order to be counted.


"FSA has over 7,000 county committee members nationwide who serve their communities by providing input on our programs at the local level," said FSA administrator Richard Fordyce. "We value their knowledge and judgment as decisions are made about the services we provide, including disaster and safety-net programs."


Each FSA committee has three to 11 elected members who serve three-year terms of office, and at least one seat is up for election each year.


County committee members aid the FSA in making decisions regarding commodity support programs, conservation programs, indemnity and disaster programs, and emergency programs and eligibility.


Newly elected committee members will fill the vacant seat on Jan. 1, 2021.


To be eligible to vote, cooperating producers must be participants in an FSA program.


A cooperating producer is someone who has provided information about their agricultural operations but may not have applied or received FSA program benefits.


Producers not of legal age may be eligible to vote, granted they have worked as supervisors of an entire farm.


Producers can contact their local FSA county office to find out if their local administrative area is up for election and if they are eligible to vote.


Eligible voters who did not receive a ballot in the mail can request one from their local FSA county office.


Visit fsa.usda.gov/elections for more information.