Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that farmer and rancher candidate nominations have begun for local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees.

The nomination period continues through Monday, Aug. 2, 2010, with the election taking place between Friday, Nov. 5 and the close of business on Monday, Dec. 6.

To be eligible to serve on an FSA county committee, 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.

To become a candidate, an eligible individual must sign the nomination form FSA-669A. The form and other valuable information about FSA county committee elections are available online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.

Nomination forms for the 2010 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center by close of business on Aug. 2.

FSA county committee members make decisions on disaster and conservation programs, emergency programs, commodity price support loan programs, and other important agricultural issues. Members serve three-year terms.

FSA will mail ballots to eligible voters beginning Nov. 5. The ballots are due back to the local county office either by mail or in person by Dec. 6. Newly elected committee members and alternates take office Jan. 1, 2011.