- Author: Ben Faber
Santa Barbara/Ventura County Farm Service Agency Holds County Committee Election
The People Who Can Help After Disasters
Santa Barbara, Ca, June 18, 2019 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Brenda F. Estrada in Santa Barbara/Ventura County reminds farmers and landowners that FSA is holding a 2019 County Office Committee (COC) Election. Producers, including minority, women and new farmers, are encouraged to participate in the 2019 election.
The county committee nomination period began on June 14, 2019. Nomination forms must be postmarked or received in the Santa Barbara/ Ventura County FSA office by close of business on Aug. 1, 2019.
For election purposes, counties are divided into local administrative areas (LAA). Each LAA nominates and elects one producer to serve a three-year term on the FSA county committee.
Each year, an election is held in an LAA where a committee member's three-year term is expiring. For 2019, an election will be held in LAA 3, which includes: The Eastern Area of Santa Barbara County from Santa Maria to the County line.
“Farmers and ranchers in LAA 3 are urged to participate in this year's county committee elections by nominating candidates by the Aug. 1, 2019, deadline,” said Estrada. “County committees are unique to FSA and allow producers to have a voice on federal farm program implementation at the local level.”
To be eligible to serve on an FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in a program administered by FSA, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and reside in the LAA in which the person is a candidate.
Farmers and ranchers may nominate themselves or others. Organizations representing minorities and women also may nominate candidates. To become a candidate, an eligible individual must sign an FSA-669A nomination form. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections is available at fsa.usda.gov/elections. Nomination forms must be postmarked or received in the local USDA service center by close of business on Aug. 1, 2019.
Nationwide, there are approximately 7,800 farmers and ranchers serving on FSA county committees. These individuals make decisions on disaster and conservation programs, emergency programs, commodity price support loan programs and other agricultural issues. Committees consist of three to 11 members who are elected by eligible producers.
Persons with disabilities who require accommodations to attend or participate in this meeting should contact Brenda F. Estrada at 805 434-0396, ext. 2,
or Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339, by Aug. 1, 2019.
- Author: Ben Faber
USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers disaster assistance and low-interest loan programs to assist agricultural producers in their recovery efforts following wildfires or other qualifying natural disasters. Available programs and loans include:
- Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP)
- - provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory, or prevented planting occur due to natural disasters including excessive wind and qualifying drought (includes native grass for grazing). Eligible producers must have purchased NAP coverage for 2017 crops. A notice of loss must be filed within 15 calendar days of when the loss is apparent or 15 calendar days after the normal harvest date.
- Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP)
- - offers payments to eligible producers for livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather. Eligible losses may include those determined by FSA to have been caused by hurricanes, floods, blizzards, wildfires, tropical storms, tornados lightning, extreme heat, and extreme cold. Producers will be required to provide verifiable documentation of death losses resulting from an eligible adverse weather event and must submit a notice of loss to their local FSA office within 30 calendar days of when the loss of livestock is apparent.
- Tree Assistance Program (TAP)
- – provides assistance to eligible orchardists and nursery tree growers for qualifying tree, shrub and vine losses due to natural disasters including excessive wind and qualifying drought.
- Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP)
- - provides emergency relief for losses due to feed or water shortages, disease, adverse weather, or other conditions, which are not adequately addressed by other disaster programs. ELAP covers physically damaged or destroyed livestock feed that was purchased or mechanically harvested forage or feedstuffs intended for use as feed for the producer's eligible livestock. In order to be considered eligible, harvested forage must be baled; forage that is only cut, raked or windrowed is not eligible. ELAP also covers up to 150 lost grazing days in instances when a producer has been forced to remove livestock from a grazing pasture due to wildfire and for beekeepers, ELAP covers beehive losses (the physical structure) in instances where the hive has been destroyed by a natural disaster including flooding, high winds and tornadoes. Producers must submit a notice of loss to their local FSA office within 30 calendar days of when the loss is apparent.
- Emergency Loan Program
- – available to producers with agriculture operations located in a county under a primary or contiguous Presidential or Secretarial disaster designation. These low interest loans help producers recover from production and physical losses.
- Emergency Conservation Program (ECP)
- - provides emergency funding for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate land severely damaged by natural disasters; includes fence loss.
- - is an Internet-based Hay and Grazing Net Ad Service allowing farmers and ranchers to share ‘Need Hay' ads and ‘Have Hay' ads online. Farmers also can use another feature to post advertisements for grazing land, specifically ads announcing the availability of grazing land or ads requesting a need for land to graze. www.fsa.usda.gov/haynet.
For more information on these programs, visit FSA online at www.fsa.usda.gov.
To find a local FSA office near you, visit
USDA is an equal opportunity lender, provider and employer.