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Hillsboro man is candidate in county FSA committee election
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The Farm Service Agency (FSA) office in Vernon County is currently holding an election for a position on the local County Committee to represent producers in the townships of: Clinton, Forest, Greenwood, Hillsboro, Kickapoo, Liberty, Stark, Union, Webster, and Whitestown, according to Katharine Lewison, Director of the FSA office in Vernon County.

The candidates in this year’s election are:

• Arthur Thelen, who has been nominated in LAA #3, Vernon County, to serve as a committee member. Thelen resides in  La Farge, and has produced  dairy, corn, alfalfa, and oats for 45 years.

He is an active member of Premier Co-op, and has also served as a past National Farm Organization (NFO) President.

• Robert Vodak has also  been nominated in LAA #3, Vernon County, to serve as a committee member. Vodak resides in Hillsboro and has produced alfalfa, corn, oats, Holstein cows, heifers, steers, Angus cows and calves for 42 years.

He is an active member of Farm Bureau and Foremost Farms.

The 2013 Farm Service Agency County Committee Elections began Dec. 20, when ballots were mailed to eligible voters. The deadline to return the ballots to local FSA offices is Jan. 17.

County committee members are an important component of the operations of FSA and provide a link between the agricultural community and USDA. Farmers and ranchers elected to county committees help deliver FSA programs at the local level, applying their knowledge and judgment to make decisions on commodity price support programs; conservation programs; incentive indemnity and disaster programs for some commodities; emergency programs and eligibility. FSA committees operate within official regulations designed to carry out federal laws.

To be an eligible voter, farmers and ranchers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program. A person who is not of legal voting age, but supervises and conducts the farming operations of an entire farm may also be eligible to vote.

Eligible voters in local administrative area #3 who do not receive ballots in the coming week can obtain ballots from their local USDA Service Center. Jan. 17, is the last day for voters to submit ballots in person to local USDA Service Centers. Ballots returned by mail must also be postmarked no later than Jan. 17. Newly elected committee members and their alternates will take office Feb. 18.

More information on county committees, such as the new 2013 fact sheet and brochures, can be found on the FSA website at or at a local USDA Service Center.  Producers in Vernon County can call 608-637-2183 for more details.