Wednesday, 03 November 2021 14:24

USDA reminds Richmond County farmers and ranchers to vote in Richmond County Committee election

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ROCKINGHAM — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has started mailing ballots for the Farm Service Agency county committee elections to eligible farmers and ranchers across the country. To be counted, ballots must be returned to the Richmond County FSA office or postmarked by Dec. 6. 


“FSA county committee members provide valuable knowledge and judgment as decisions are made about the services we provide, including disaster and safety-net programs,” said Tami Thomas county executive director for Richmond County. “Please take a few minutes to review your ballot and make your selection prior to the Dec. 6 deadline.”

Each committee has from three to 11 elected members who serve three-year terms of office, and at least one seat is up for election each year for a certain Local Administrative Area. Newly elected committee members will take office Jan. 1, 2022. Richmond County committee members help FSA make important decisions on its commodity support programs, conservation programs, indemnity and disaster programs, and emergency programs and eligibility. 

The nominees up for election in LAA No. 2 , which includes parts of Ellerbe, Norman and Hoffman in Richmond County are Rickie DeWitt and Nathanial Rankin.

DeWitt is nominated to serve as a committee member for a three-year term. DeWitt resides in Ellerbe and manages DeWitt Game Farm and operates green houses. 

He is currently the chairman of the Richmond County Committee and is up for another term, he is also an active member of the Richmond County Farm Bureau board. 

Rankin has also been nominated to serve as a committee member for a three-year term. Rankin resides in Ellerbe and is a corn and soybean producer. 

He has previously served on the Richmond County Committee. 

Producers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program to be eligible to vote in the county committee election. A cooperating producer is someone who has provided information about their farming or ranching operation but may not have applied or received FSA program benefits. Also, for County Committee elections, producers who are not of legal voting age, but supervise and conduct the farming operations of an entire farm, are eligible to vote.

Producers can find out if their LAA is up for election and if they are eligible to vote by contacting their local FSA county office. Eligible voters who do not receive a ballot in the mail can request one from their local FSA county office. Visit fsa.usda.gov/elections for more information.