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Fourth-generation farmer named FSA administrator

• Jun 23, 2018 at 10:00 AM

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently announced the appointment of Richard Fordyce to serve as administrator of the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA).

In his role, Fordyce will provide leadership for FSA and its mission to support agricultural production across America through a network of over 2,100 county and 50 state offices.

Fordyce, a fourth-generation farmer, most recently served as state executive director for FSA in Missouri. Prior to his appointment by the Trump Administration, Fordyce served as the director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture from 2013 to 2017. In 2015, Fordyce was awarded the Missouri Farm Bureau Distinguished Service Award and the Agricultural Leaders of Tomorrow Alumnus of the Year.

He and his wife, Renee, have two children and grow soybeans, corn and beef cattle on the family farm.

In other news...

2018 acreage reporting dates: In order to comply with FSA program eligibility requirements, all producers are encouraged to visit the County FSA office to file an accurate crop certification report by the July 15. In order to maintain program eligibility and benefits, producers must timely file acreage reports. Failure to file an acreage report by the crop acreage reporting deadline may result in ineligibility for future program benefits. FSA will not accept acreage reports provided more than a year after the acreage reporting deadline.

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Nominations open for the 2018 county committee elections: The USDA FSA encourages all farmers and FSA program participants to take part in the Huron-Erie County Committee election nomination process. FSA’s county committees are a critical component of the day-to-day operations of FSA and allow grassroots input and local administration of federal farm programs. Committees are comprised of locally elected agricultural producers responsible for the fair and equitable administration of FSA farm programs in their counties.

Committee members are accountable to the Secretary of Agriculture. If elected, members become part of a local decision making and farm program delivery process. A county committee is composed of three to 11 elected members from local administrative areas. Each member serves a three-year term. One-third of the seats on these committees are open for election each year. County committees may have an appointed advisor to further represent the local interests of underserved farmers. Underserved producers are beginning, women and other minority farmers and ranchers and land owners and/or operators who have limited resources. Other minority groups including Native American and Alaska Natives; persons under the poverty level, and persons that have disabilities are also considered underserved. All nomination forms for the 2018 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA service center by Aug. 1.

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2018 ARC/PLC enrollment period ends Aug. 1: Farmers with base acres in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) safety net program can visit FSA county offices to sign contracts and enroll for the 2018 crop year. The enrollment period will end on Aug. 1. Since shares and ownership of a farm can change year-to-year, producers must enroll by signing a contract each program year. The producers on a farm that are not enrolled for the 2018 enrollment period will not be eligible for financial assistance from the ARC or PLC programs for the 2018 crop should crop prices or farm revenues fall below the historical price or revenue benchmarks established by the program. Producers who made their elections in previous years must still enroll during the 2018 enrollment period .The ARC and PLC programs were authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and offer a safety net to agricultural producers when there is a substantial drop in prices or revenues for covered commodities.

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Important dates:

July 4 — Independence Day holiday. FSA offices closed.

July 15 — Final certification date to report spring planting. Call the office for and appointment.

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