FARMINGTON – Gary J. Raymond, county executive director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency in Franklin County, announces that Russell Black of Wilton and Randall Hall of East Dixfield are running to serve as a member of the county committee. The runner-up will be an alternate.

“FSA County Committee members make important decisions on how federal farm programs fit the needs of Franklin County producers,” said Raymond. “So it is vital that all eligible farmers and ranchers vote in this year’s election to ensure that these committees represent the interests of all producers in a community.”

Ballots must be returned to agency offices or postmarked by Dec. 6. All ballots will be counted publicly by Dec. 13. The newly elected committee member and alternate will take office Jan. 1, 2005.

Producers who have not received ballots can obtain them at their local offices. Eligible voters must be of legal voting age and have an interest in a farm as an owners, operator, tenant or sharecropper.

The county is divided into three Local Administrative Areas. LAA2, the towns of Carthage, Chesterville, Jay, Perkins Township, Temple, Washington Township, Weld and Wilton will vote for a representative.

Malcolm Turner of Jay has been the LAA2 representative for three consecutive three- year terms and cannot be on the ballot this year because of term limitations.

The county committee system gives local farmers and ranchers a say in how farm programs are administered at a grass-roots level.

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