PARIS — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has started mailing ballots for the Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committee elections to eligible farmers and ranchers across the country. To be counted, ballots must be returned to the Oxford County FSA office or postmarked by Dec. 4, 2023.

“FSA county committee members provide valuable knowledge and judgment as decisions are made about the services we provide, including disaster and safety-net programs,” said CED Marcia Hall, county executive director for Oxford County. “Please take a few minutes to review your ballot and make your selection before the Dec. 4 deadline.”

Each committee has from three to 11 elected members who serve three-year terms of office, and at least one seat is up for election each year for a certain Local Administrative Area (LAA). Newly elected committee members will take office Jan. 1, 2024. Oxford County committee members help FSA make important decisions on its commodity support programs, conservation programs, indemnity and disaster programs, emergency programs, and eligibility.

The following producer has been nominated and is running in the 2023 election in LAA2, which includes Stoneham, Lovell, Waterford, Norway, Stow, Sweden, Fryeburg, Denmark, Brownfield, Porter, and Hiram in Oxford County is Jim Pitreau.

Pitreau is nominated to serve as a committee member for a 3-year term. Pitreau resides in Fryeburg and is the C.O.O of Green Thumb Farms. He has been involved in the day-to-day operations for 12-plus years. Pitreau is a powerful force in the workplace and uses his positive attitude and tireless energy to encourage others to develop their careers and succeed.

Producers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program to be eligible to vote in the county committee election. A cooperating producer is someone who has provided information about their farming or ranching operation to FSA, even if they have not applied for or received program benefits. Also, for county committee elections, producers who are not of legal voting age, but supervise and conduct the farming operations of an entire farm, are eligible to vote.

Producers can find out if their LAA is up for election and if they are eligible to vote by contacting their local FSA county office. Customers can locate their LAA through a new GIS locator tool, available at Eligible voters who do not receive a ballot in the mail can request one from the Oxford County FSA office at 17 Olson Rd. Suite 1, South Paris or call 207-743-5789.

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