Jonathan Coppess, administrator of USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA), reminds farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers that they have until Aug. 2, 2010, to nominate eligible candidates to serve on local FSA county committees.

"The last day to file nomination forms is just a few days away," Coppess said. "Please get involved this year and nominate the candidate of your choice or nominate yourself to serve on your local county committee. I especially encourage the nomination of beginning farmers and ranchers, as well as minorities and women. This is your opportunity to have a say in how federal programs are delivered in your county.”

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

To be eligible to hold office as a county committee member, individuals must participate or cooperate in a program administered by FSA, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and live in the local administrative area where they are running. A complete list of eligibility requirements, more information and nomination forms are available at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.

All nominees must sign the nomination form FSA-669A. All nomination forms for the 2010 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center by close of business on Aug. 2, 2010.

After that, ballots will be mailed to eligible voters by Nov. 5 and are due back to the local USDA Service Centers on Dec. 6. The newly elected county committee members will take office Jan. 1, 2011.