Osage County Agwire: Producers to elect county committee members

The 2017 Farm Service Agency County Committee Elections began on Nov. 6, when ballots were mailed to eligible voters. The deadline to return the ballots to local FSA offices is Dec. 4, 2017.

County committee members are an important component of the operations of FSA and provide a link between the agricultural community and USDA. Farmers and ranchers elected to county committees help deliver FSA programs at the local level, applying their knowledge and judgment to make decisions on commodity price support programs; conservation programs; incentive indemnity and disaster programs for some commodities; emergency programs and eligibility. FSA committees operate within official regulations designed to carry out federal laws.

To be an eligible voter, farmers and ranchers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program. A person who is not of legal voting age, but supervises and conducts the farming operations of an entire farm may also be eligible to vote.

Eligible voters in local administrative area 3 who do not receive a ballot, can obtain one from their local USDA Service Center. Dec. 4, 2017, 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 Dec. 4. Newly elected committee members will take office Jan. 1, 2018.

The candidates in this year’s election are:

  • David Combes is nominated in LAA 3, Osage County, to serve as a committee member. Combes has been a lifetime resident of Osage County and produces wheat, soybeans and corn. He and his wife also have a cattle herd, in which they background and finish. Combes is lifetime agriculture producer. He is an active member of the Ottawa Coop board and serves as director; and is a member of the Olivet Township Board, Osage County Conservation board; the Melvern Fire Department, and Farm Bureau.
  • Nina Flax is nominated in LAA 3, Osage County, to serve as a committee member. Flax has been a lifetime resident of Osage County and produces wheat, soybeans, grain sorghum and corn. She is lifetime agriculture producer. She is an active member of the Frontier District Extension board, and Farm Bureau. Flax is a retired educator.

More information on county committees, such as the new 2017 fact sheet, can be found on the FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections or at the local USDA Service Center, at 785-828-4631 or 115 W. 17th St., Lyndon.

Update your records

FSA is cleaning up its producer record database. Any unreported changes of address, zip code, phone number, email address or an incorrect name or business name on file, needs to be reported to the FSA office. Changes in farm operation, like the addition of a farm by lease or purchase, need to be reported also. Producers participating in FSA and NRCS programs are required to timely report changes in their farming operation to the County Committee in writing and update their CCC-902 Farm Operating Plan.

For updates or corrections, call the local FSA office at 785-828-4631.

Farm reconstitutions

When changes in farm ownership or operation take place, a farm reconstitution is necessary. The reconstitution – or recon – is the process of combining or dividing farms or tracts of land based on the farming operation.

To be effective for the current fiscal year (FY), farm combinations and farm divisions must be requested by Aug. 1 of the FY for farms subject to the Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs. A reconstitution is considered to be requested when all of the required signatures are on FSA-155 and other applicable documentation, such as proof of ownership, is submitted.

Total Conservation Reserve Program and non-ARC/PLC farms may be reconstituted at any time.

The following are the different methods used when doing a farm recon:

Estate method – the division of bases, allotments and quotas for a parent farm among heirs in settling an estate.

Designation of landowner method – may be used when part of a farm is sold or ownership is transferred; an entire farm is sold to two or more persons; farm ownership is transferred to two or more persons; part of a tract is sold or ownership is transferred; a tract is sold to two or more persons; or tract ownership is transferred to two or more persons. To use this method the land sold must have been owned for at least three years, or a waiver granted, and the buyer and seller must sign a Memorandum of Understanding.

DCP Cropland Method – the division of bases in the same proportion that the DCP cropland for each resulting tract relates to the DCP cropland on the parent tract.

Default Method – the division of bases for a parent farm with each tract maintaining the bases attributed to the tract level when the reconstitution is initiated in the system.

For more information about any of these programs, contact the Osage County FSA office at 785-828-4631 or 115 W. 17th St., Lyndon.

Information thanks to Osage County FSA office.


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