USDA reminds farmers and ranchers to vote in Piscataquis committee election

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 Piscataquis County FSA office or postmarked by Dec. 4.

“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 Scott Speck, county executive director for Somerset County. “Please take a few minutes to review your ballot and make your selection prior to the Dec. 4 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, 2024. Piscataquis committee members help FSA make important decisions on  its commodity support programs, conservation programs, indemnity and disaster programs, emergency programs, and eligibility. 

The following producer has been nominated and are running in the 2023 election in LAA 1, which includes Atkinson, Orneville, Sebec, Milo, Medford, Williamsburg, Bowerbank, Brownville, Lake View Plt, Ebeemee  Twp, East Middlesex Canal, Days Academy Grant, Spencer Bay, Lily Bay, Beaver Cove, Frenchtown,  Shawtown, Lobster, and all unorganized towns in Somerset is Rebecca Treadwell. 

Treadwell is nominated to serve as a committee member for a 3-year term. Treadwell resides in Brownville and has produced beef and hay crops for 11 years. 

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 to FSA, even if they have not applied or received 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. Customers can locate their LAA through a new GIS locator tool available at Eligible voters who do not receive a ballot in the mail can request one from the Somerset County FSA office at 70 E. Madison Road Skowhegan, ME 04976 or call 207-474-8323 extension 2.

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