BEE COUNTY – Agriculture plays an important part in any community and especially so in Bee County as so many are involved in the production process of bringing food from farm and ranch to table.

And the Farm Service Agency’s county committees are a critical component in allowing local farmers and ranchers to have a voice in federal farm programs.

The primary objective of the FSA, part of the United States Department of Agriculture, is to increase knowledge and awareness about available programs and access to funding for anyone interested in participating. 

FSA county committee elections are coming up, and nominations for local posts are currently being accepted.

“Elections are important because the person elected will make decisions at each meeting that affect nearly every farmer and rancher in the county,” said Darren Pruski, County Executive Director for Bee County FSA.

The elected individual in Bee County will represent Local Administrative Area “1” (LAA1) which consists of the area south of the boundary formed by FM 797 going east to the Aransas River. This includes Skidmore, Tynan and Paplote.

All nomination forms for the 2020 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by Aug. 1. Individuals may nominate themselves or others, and organizations, including those representing beginning, women and minority producers, also may nominate candidates.

Committee members are vital to how FSA carries out disaster programs, as well as conservation, commodity and price support programs, county office employment and other agricultural issues.

Persons nominated should actively participate in the operation of a farm or ranch and be well qualified for committee work. A producer is able is eligible to be a County FSA committee member if he/she resides in the LAA holding the election and is eligible to vote. 

Duties include administering farm program activities conducted by the County FSA office, informing farmers of the purpose and provisions of the programs, keeping the state informed of LAA conditions, monitoring changes in farm programs, participating in county meetings as necessary and performing other duties as assigned by the State FSA Committee.

To be considered for nomination, a producer must sign an FSA-669A nomination form. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available at fsa.usda.gov/elections. 

The Bee County FSA office is located at 1400 W. Corpus Christi St. Ste. 6. They can be reached by phone at 361-358-3343.

Election ballots will be mailed to eligible voters beginning Nov. 2, and newly elected county committee members take office Jan. 1, 2021.

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