WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced farmer and rancher candidate nominations begin today for local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees. The nomination period continues through Aug. 1. Elections take place this fall.

“I encourage all producers to participate in the county committee election process by nominating candidates by the August 1 deadline,” said Johanns. “We have seen the nomination of minority and women producers increase significantly in recent years, and we would like to see that trend continue.”

To be eligible to serve on an FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in a program administered by FSA, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and reside in the local administrative area in which the person is a candidate.

Local agriculture producers are invited to nominate a candidate for the LAA 1 area. This position is currently held by Donald Pilgrim, whose position as committee person will expire Jan. 1.

The boundaries for this area are north by the Jack/Wise County line, west by the Palo Pinto County line, east by Highway 51 and south by U.S. Hwy. 180.

Nomination of candidates must be completed by Aug. 1, and producers can nominate anyone who is qualified, including themselves.

County committee representatives help make national farm programs fit the needs of local producers with decisions on price supports, yields and disaster assistance.

Following the nomination deadline, ballots will be mailed Nov. 3, and must be returned by Dec. 4. The elected committee member will take office Jan. 1.

Nomination forms are available at the Parker County Farm Service Agency office in Weatherford. Information is available by calling the office at (817) 594-4672.

The county committee system is the producer’s opportunity to have a voice in delivery of federal farm programs in Parker County and eligible persons are encouraged to participate in the nomination and election process.

Find FSA news releases on the agency’s Web site at: www.fsa.usda.gov.