USDA agency seeks panelists

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OXFORD – Gary Raymond, executive director of USDA’s Farm Service Agency in Oxford County, reminds farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers that they have until Aug. 1 to nominate candidates for local FSA county committees.

“County committees are important to Oxford County because they assist local farmers and ranchers,” said Raymond. “They help deliver federal programs to Oxford County, which is an important aspect of our service to agriculture. I encourage all producers to get involved by nominating eligible candidates to serve on county committees.”

FSA county committees assist local farmers through their decisions on commodity price support loans, conservation programs and disaster programs, and by working with county executive directors.

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 are encouraged to nominate candidates.

Nomination forms for the 2007 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center by close of business on Wednesday, Aug. 1.

Voting takes place in the fall. Ballots will be mailed to eligible voters by Nov. 2. Newly elected county committee members take office Jan. 1.

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