Farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers can now nominate eligible candidates to serve on the Farm Service Agency County Committee. While the nomination period runs from June 15 through Aug. 2, nominations can be taken now.
Each year an election is held in an LAA (local administrative area) to replace the committee member whose 3-year term is expiring. In Chicot County, LAA-1 is open for nominations and is currently represented by Joshua Lingo.
LAA-1 is defined as the northern portion of the county. (See below for details.)
To hold office as a county committee member, 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.
Individuals may nominate themselves or others as candidates. Also, organizations representing minorities and women may nominate candidates.
All nominees must sign nomination form FSA-669A, which includes a statement that the nominee agrees to serve if elected. COC election materials may be found at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.
While FSA county committees do not approve or deny farm ownership or operating loans, they make decisions on disaster and conservation programs, emergency programs, commodity price support loan programs and other agricultural issues. Members serve three-year terms. Nationwide, there are about 7,800 farmers and ranchers serving on FSA county committees.
Patrick Hicks, County Executive Director of the Chicot County Farm Service Agency, explained that local administrative area boundaries, or LAA’s, are elective areas for Farm Service Agency committees in a county or jurisdiction and Chicot County has three LAA’s.
LAA-1 is defined as the northern portion of the county consisting of the communities of Halley Junction, Macon Lake, Deep Elm, McMillian Corner, Bellaire, Norcross, Bowman, Elmwood, Yellow Bayou, Panther Forest and the town of Dermott.
LAA-2 is defined as the central portion of the county consisting of the communities of Ashtown, Cosgrove, Lakeport, Chicot Junction, Jennie, Pettit, Chanticleer, Fawnwood, Fairview, Lakehall, County Fair, Gum Corner and the town of Lake Village.
LAA-3 is defined as the southern portion of the county consisting of the communities of Hickory Ridge, Grand Lake, Empire, Ross Van-Ness, Hanna, Indian, Wellford, Browns Crossing and the town of Eudora.
A detailed map is available in the FSA Office. Public comments are invited.
Ballots will be mailed to eligible voters by Nov. 1. The final day to return voted ballots to the local USDA Service Center is Dec. 6. Newly elected county committee members take office Jan. 1, 2022.
For more information on the nomination and election process, visit the local USDA Service Center. The Service Center in Chicot County, located at 3219 S Hwy 65 82, Lake Village, is now open to limited visitors by appointment only. Staff also continues to work with agricultural producers via phone, e-mail, and other digital tools. Contact the office at 870-265-5312 to make an in-person or phone appointment.