Teresa Lasseter, administrator of USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA), is reminding farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers they have until Aug. 1, 2007, to nominate eligible candidates to serve on local FSA county committees.

"County committees are important because they assist local farmers and ranchers," said Lasseter. "They help deliver federal programs, 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 closely 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. A complete list of eligibility requirements and additional information are posted online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov; click on News & Events, then County Committee Elections.

Individuals may nominate themselves or others as candidates. Also, organizations representing minorities and women are encouraged to nominate candidates.

All nominees must sign nomination form FSA-669A, which includes a statement that the nominee agrees to serve if elected. Form FSA-669A is available at USDA Service Centers and online at the Web site listed above. All nomination forms for the 2007 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center by close of business on Aug. 1, 2007.

The county committee nomination period began June 15. Voting takes place in the fall. Ballots will be mailed to eligible voters by Nov. 2. The final day to return voted ballots to the local USDA Service Center is Dec. 3. Newly elected county committee members take office Jan. 1, 2008.