U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director C. Jean Hazlegrove in Botetourt/Craig/Roanoke Counties reminds farmers and landowners that FSA is hosting an informational meeting regarding the 2019 County Committee Election process on Thursday, July 18, at 6 p.m. at the Bonsack USDA Service Center located at 36 Executive Circle in Roanoke. Producers, including minority, women and new farmers, are encouraged to attend the meeting and participate in the 2019 election.

The County Committee nomination period began on June 14. Nomination forms must be postmarked or received in the Botetourt/Craig/Roanoke County FSA office by close of business on August 1.

For election purposes, counties are divided into local administrative areas (LAA). Each LAA nominates and elects one producer to serve a three-year term on the FSA county committee.

Each year, an election is held in an LAA where a committee member’s three-year term is expiring. For 2019, an election will be held in LAA 2 (southern part of Botetourt County), which includes Amsterdam, Arcadia, Blue Ridge, Bonsack, part of the Buchanan area (southern), Cloverdale, Coyner Springs, Daleville, part of the Fincastle area (southern), Haymakertown, Lithia, Nace, Trinity, and Troutville.

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 LAA in which the person is a candidate.

Farmers and ranchers may nominate themselves or others. Organizations representing minorities and women also may nominate candidates. To become a candidate, an eligible individual must sign an FSA-669A nomination form. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available at fsa.usda.gov/elections.

FSA County Committees allow grassroots input and local administration of federal farm programs. These individuals make decisions on disaster and conservation programs, emergency programs, commodity price support loan programs and other agricultural issues. Committees consist of three to 11 members who are elected by eligible producers.

Persons with disabilities who require accommodations to attend or participate in this meeting should contact Jean Hazlegrove at 977-2698, Ext. 2, or Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339, by July 10.