WASHINGTON– The 2012 Farm Service Agency county committee elections began on Monday, November 5, with the mailing of ballots to eligible voters. The deadline to return the ballots to local FSA offices is December 3, 2012, announced FSA Administrator Juan M. Garcia.

“The role and input of our county committee members is more vital than ever,” said Garcia. “New county committee members provide input and make important decisions on the local administration of disaster and conservation programs. With better participation in recent years, we also have seen promising increases in the number of women and minority candidates.”

Eligible voters who do not receive ballots in the coming week can obtain ballots from their local USDA Service Center. December 3, 2012, is the last day for voters to submit ballots in person to local USDA Service Centers. Ballots returned by mail must also be postmarked no later than December 3. Newly elected committee members and their alternates will take office January 1, 2013.

More information on county committees, such as the new 2012 fact sheet and brochures, can be found on the FSA website at www.fsa.usda.govelections or at a local USDA Service Center.