CLINTON — East Feliciana, West Feliciana and East Baton Rouge Parish U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency announced Dec. 9 that John Thompson, of St. Francisville, was elected to represent local administrative area 2 during the recent county committee election.

John Patrick III, of St. Francisville, will serve as the first alternate.

"County Committee members are a critical component of the day-to-day operations of FSA,” said Reginald Ellis, county executive director. "They help deliver programs at the county level and work to serve the needs of local producers. All recently elected county committee members will take office in January 2020 and will be joining the existing committee.”

Every FSA office is served to by a county committee made up of local farmers, ranchers and foresters who are elected by local producers. Nearly 7,800 FSA county committee members serve FSA offices nationwide. Each committee has three to 11 elected members who serve three-year terms of office.

A news release said county committees ensure the fair and equitable administration of FSA farm programs in their parishes and are accountable to the Secretary of Agriculture. Members conduct hearings and reviews as requested by the state committee, ensure underserved farmers, ranchers and foresters are fairly represented, make recommendations to the state committee on existing programs, monitor changes in farm programs and inform farmers of the purpose and provisions of FSA programs. They also assist with outreach and inform underserved producers such as beginning farmers, ranchers and foresters, about FSA opportunities.

For information, visit fsa.usda.gov/elections or contact the parish FSA office at (225) 683-8955 ext. 2.