The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices at the county level are administered by a local elected committee of farmers. County farmland owners and operators nominate candidates and vote for nominees who are elected to serve a 3 year term on the FSA County Committee. For the FSA office near Wauseon Ohio, serving Fulton County and the portion of Lucas County west of the Maumee River, the 2017 FSA election resulted in a new member on the FSA County Committee. The new member is Scott Aeschliman of rural Wauseon representing the western townships of Gorham, Franklin, German, and Clinton in Fulton County.
A special recognition and gratitude is extended to Pete Dinius and Jon Rupp for serving on the committee. Jon Rupp was elected to serve on the FSA Committee in 2013; however, due to a conflict of interest by being elected to the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, Mr. Rupp had to resign his post with FSA. Pete Dinius, who was elected as first alternate, took Mr. Rupp’s place on the FSA Committee to finish out the 3 year term ending in 2016. Mr. Dinius will continue to serve having been elected first alternate to Scott Aeschliman who was elected to replace Jon Rupp.
In addition to Scott Aeschliman as the new member, the 5 other remaining FSA Committee members currently serving are Paul Holman of central Fulton County, John Gross of eastern Fulton County, Don Eisel of northern half of Western Lucas County, Don Heilmann representing the southern half of Western Lucas County, and Luann Pennington of Royalton Township serving at large as a special advisor.
Duties of FSA County Committee members range from hiring a local County Executive Director to manage the FSA county office to hearing appeals about service, benefits, eligibility, or regulations related to millions of dollars of public funds and hundreds of local participants in USDA loan, conservation, disaster, and risk management programs. FSA Committees are often consulted about current and future national farm program legislation or agriculture needs and farming conditions by USDA and Federal elected officials. The FSA Committee is responsible at the county level for fairness, equal opportunity, and civil rights.
As always, more information and more extensive details about the USDA FSA County Committee election process and the administration of the federal farm programs in Ohio can be found online at www.fsa.usda.gov/oh. Or, contact your local FSA office located in most County Agricultural Service Centers. FSA County Committee elections are held annually due to rotating terms. The term of office is for 3 years and cannot exceed 3 terms; therefore, anyone interested in serving your neighbors and fellow farmers or farmland owners should visit the website or your local FSA County office.