Dykema, Livingston elected to FSA posts
MIDDLEBURY — Ben Dykema of North Ferrisburgh was elected to represent his local administrative area during the recent U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committee election.
Dykema and his wife, Kris, run the Wilcon Farm in North Ferrisburgh. According to AgriMart/Cabot, when the Dykemas first purchased the farm several decades ago, they had 204 acres, 50 milkers and 40 young stock. They now have 450 milkers and 400 young stock. They actively farm 800 acres.
Dykema was a founding member of the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition.
Another result of the election is that Philip M. Livingston of New Haven will serve as the first alternate to the FSA Addison County Committee.
“County Committee members are a critical component of the day-to-day operations of FSA,” said Pam Smith, FSA 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 2019 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.
County committee members impact the administration of FSA within a community by applying their knowledge and judgment to help FSA make important decisions on its commodity support programs, conservation programs, indemnity and disaster programs, emergency programs and eligibility.
County committee members impact producers through their decision-making and help shape the culture of a local FSA office. They also ensure the fair and equitable administration of FSA farm programs in their counties 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 more information, visit fsa.usda.gov/elections or contact the Addison County FSA office at 802-388-6748.