The USDA announced recently it is accepting nominations for local and urban county committee members to be elected later this year.
All nomination forms for the 2023 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by Aug. 1.
To make the nomination and election processes easier, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is also rolling out its new GIS tool.
According to a USDA release, it is county committee members “who make important decisions on how federal farm programs are administered locally.”
FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux said, “Producers serving on FSA county committees play a critical role in the day-to-day operations of the agency, and they serve as the eyes and ears for the producers who elected them. I encourage you to consider serving the farmers, ranchers and producers in your community on your local FSA county committee, and I thank you in advance for your public service.”
Elections will occur in certain Local Administrative Areas (LAA) for members. LAAs are elective areas for FSA committees in a single-county or multi-county jurisdiction and they may include LAAs that are focused on an urban or suburban area.
Customers can locate their LAA through a new GIS locator tool at fsa.usda.gov/elections.
Agricultural producers may be nominated for candidacy for the county committee if they:
- Participate or cooperate in a USDA program; and
- Reside in the LAA that is up for election this year.
The 2018 Farm Bill directed USDA to form urban county committees as well as make other advancements related to urban agriculture, including the establishment of the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production.
FSA established county committees specifically focused on urban agriculture. Urban committee members are nominated and elected to serve by local urban producers in the same jurisdiction. Urban county committee members will provide outreach to ensure urban producers understand USDA programs and serve as the voice of other urban producers and assist in program implementation that support the needs of the growing urban community.
The 17 county committees for urban agriculture are located in Albuquerque; Atlanta; Chicago; Cleveland; Detroit; Dallas; Grand Rapids; Los Angeles; Minneapolis-St. Paul; New Orleans; New York; Oakland; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Portland; Richmond, Virginia; and St. Louis.
Find out more at farmers.gov/urban.