Ballots will be mailed to eligible voters this month to eligible voters in the following Local Administrative Areas (LAA): Cabell County – LAA 1, Northwest section of Cabell County including Green Bottom in Union District; Wayne County – LAA 5, Eastern section of Wayne County including Stonewall and Lincoln Districts; Lincoln County – LAA 3, former Harts, Laurel Hill, Jefferson and Sheridan Districts in Lincoln County; and Logan/Mingo Counties – LAA 5, entire Logan and Mingo counties. December 2, 2013, is the deadline for eligible voters to return ballots to their local FSA offices. Ballots will be counted at the Hamlin Area USDA service center conference room on December 9, 2013, at 10:30a.m. Newly elected members will take office on January 1, 2014, for a three year term.
This year’s nominees are as follows: Cabell County LAA 1 – Melissa Shull, from Glenwood grew up on a farm and purchased the farm in 1981. Mrs. Shull is a beef cow/calf and miniature pony producer who also raises hay. Activities include member of the Bais Chapel and former 4-H leader. Mrs. Shull has thoroughly enjoyed farming and raising her children on a farm – it kept them out of trouble!
Also running in Cabell County LAA 1 is Robert Winters, II from Lesage, who began farming in 1970. Mr. Winters is a registered cattle/show calf producer who also raises hay. Activities include Farm Bureau member and previously serving on the County Committee for three years.
Nominees for Wayne County LAA 5 include incumbent Myrtle Perry from East Lynn who has served on the County Committee for three years. Mrs. Perry began farming in 1970 and is a cow/calf and horse producer who also raises hay. Activities include owner of Clay’s Grocery, Farm Bureau member, Wayne County Cattlemen’s Association member and member of Tom’s Creek United Baptist Church, where her husband Garland serves as pastor. Mrs. Perry stated that she enjoys farming and hopes young people will continue farming so that it does not become a thing of the past.
Also running in Wayne County LAA 5 is Darren Porter from Dunlow who has been farming since 1995. Mr. Porter is a cow/calf and pig producer who also raises hay. Mr. Porter stated that he is a young farmer willing to serve and help out any way he can to support the farming community.
Joining Mrs. Perry and Mr. Porter in Wayne County LAA 5 is Paul E. Stephens from Wayne who grew up on a farm in the 1940’s and is still a cow/calf and work horse producer who also raises hay. Activities include Wayne County Farm Bureau Vice-President, Vice- President of Wayne County Farmers Market, member of the Silver Haired Legislature, past President of the Coon Hunter’s Association and member of the local Pentecost Church.
Nominees for Lincoln County LAA 3 include incumbent L. G. (Mike) Bates from Branchland who has served on the County Committee for twenty years off and on. Mr. Bates, who began farming in 1950, is a cow/calf producer who also raises hay. Activities include member of the Pleasant View Baptist Church.
Also running in Lincoln County LAA 3 is Harold Wilson from Branchland who has been farming since 2004. Mr. Wilson is a cow/calf producer who also raises hay.
Nominees for Logan/Mingo Counties LAA 5 include Jack Ball from Chapmanville who has been farming since 1993. Mr. Ball is a cow/calf producer and stated he would be pleased to serve and help the community farmers.
Also running in Logan/Mingo Counties LAA 5 is D Gail Toth from Chapmanville who has been farming since 1963. Mrs. Toth produces garden crops of potatoes, sweet corn, green beans and tomatoes. Activities include member of Vietnam Veterans Chapter 308, previous Girl Scout leader and soccer coach, and Calvary Free Will Baptist Church member. Mrs. Toth’s advice is to pray, live, love and laugh!
The FSA county committee system is unique among government agencies, because it allows producers to make important decisions concerning the local administration of federal farm programs. All eligible agricultural producers, especially minorities and women, are encouraged to get involved and make a real difference in their communities by voting in this year’s election.
Committee members apply their knowledge and judgment to make decisions on disaster and conservation payments, establishment of allotments and yields, producer appeals, employing FSA county executive directors and other local issues. FSA committees operate within official regulations designed to carry out federal laws.
To be an eligible voter, agricultural producers must participate or cooperate in FSA programs. A person who is not of legal voting age, but supervises and conducts the farming operations of an entire farm, can also vote. Agricultural producers in each county submitted candidate names during the nomination period that ended in August 2013.
For more information about FSA county committees and FSA programs, visit: http://www.fsa.usda.gov.