The nomination period for Farm Service Agency county committee elections begins this week.

Farmers, ranchers, and landowners are encouraged to nominate candidates to serve on their local FSA county committee by the August 1st, 2013 deadline.

Elected county committee members serve a three-year term, and are responsible for making decisions on FSA disaster, conservation, commodity, and price support programs, as well as other important federal farm program issues.

County committees are comprised of three to 11 members.

People may nominate themselves or others as candidates, and organizations that represent minority and women farmers and ranchers may also nominate candidates.

Nominees must participate or cooperate in a program administered by the FSA, be eligible to vote in a county committee election, and reside in the local administrative area in which the person is a candidate.

Nomination forms must be postmarked or received by the local USDA Service Center by the close of business on August 1st.

FSA will mail ballots to eligible voters beginning November 4th, and the ballots are due back in the local county office by mail or in person no later than December 2nd.

All newly elected county committee members and alternates will take office on January 1st, 2014.

For more information, contact the Lubbock County FSA office at 785-5644, extension 2 or by visiting www.fsa.usda.gov.