ELIZABETHTOWN — Bladen County U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency Executive Director CED Chris Tatum announced that County Committee elections are over and the ballots have been counted.
Joshua Vendrick of Bladenboro was elected to represent Local Administrative Area 2 and Delois Wright of Bladenboro will serve as the first alternate.
“County Committee members are a critical component of the day-to-day operations of FSA,” said Tatum. “They help deliver programs at the county level and work to serve the needs of local producers. All recently elected County Committee members will take office in January 2018, and will be joining the existing committee.” Every FSA office is required to have a County Committee, and they are made up of local farmers who are elected by local farmers.
Nearly 7,800 FSA County Committee members serve FSA offices nationwide. Each committee has three to 11 elected members who serve three-year terms of office. One-third of County Committee seats are up for election each year. County Committee members impact the administration of FSA within a community by applying their knowledge and judgment to help FSA make important decisions on its commodity support programs, conservation programs, indemnity and disaster programs, emergency programs and eligibility.
County Committee members impact producers through their decision making and help shape the culture of a local FSA office. They also ensure the fair and equitable administration of FSA farm programs in their counties and are accountable to the Secretary of Agriculture. Members conduct hearings and reviews as requested by the State Committee, ensure socially disadvantaged (SDA) farmers and ranchers are fairly represented, make recommendations to the State Committee on existing programs, monitor changes in farm programs and inform farmers of the purpose and provisions of FSA programs. They also assist with outreach and inform underserved producers such as beginning farmers and ranchers about FSA opportunities.
For more information, visit the FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections or contact the Bladen County FSA office at 910-862-3179, Ext 2.