Farmers and ranchers have until Wednesday, Aug. 1, to nominate candidates for the local Farm Service Agency County Committee. Open seats include one held by Steve Hlinsky, who died in May.

Committee members meet once a month and play a critical role in the agency's day-to-day operations, the agency said in a news release. They decide issues related to disaster, conservation, emergencies, commodity loan price support, county office employment and other agricultural issues.

"County committees are unique to FSA and allow producers to have a voice on federal farm program implementation at the local level," said Steve Frericks, executive director of the local FSA office.

"It is also important that committees are comprised of members who fairly represent the diverse demographics of production agriculture for their community. I encourage all producers, including women, minority and beginning farmers and ranchers, to participate in the nomination and election process."

Producers can nominate themselves or others. Organizations, including those representing beginning, women and minority producers, may also nominate candidates to better serve their communities. To be eligible, producers must participate in an FSA program and live in the area where the election is being held.

This year, elections for Douglas County will be held in Local Administrative Area #1, which includes Lund, Millerville, Evansville, Brandon, Urness, Moe and Solem townships.

Local Administrative Area #3 will hold a special election for the seat held by Hlinsky, who served as chairman. This area consists of the townships of LaGrand, Alexandria, Osakis, Holmes City, Lake Mary, Hudson and Orange for a two-year term.

To be considered, a producer must sign an FSA-669A nomination form. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections is available at, or from the Douglas County FSA office. All nomination forms for the 2018 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by Aug. 1.

For more information, visit Election ballots will be mailed to eligible voters beginning Nov. 5.