USDA Looking for Urban Farmers to Serve on the Local FSA Committee
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is creating 11 pilot Farm Service Agencies (FSA) in urban counties, including Cook County.
Cook County is recruiting individuals to serve on the local FSA committee. Committee members are an important component of the operations of FSA and provide a link between the agricultural community and USDA. Farmers elected to county committees help deliver FSA programs at the local level. FSA is specifically seeking individuals who are involved in urban agriculture and are representative of the Cook County urban farming populace.
Process and Timeline
Individuals interested in serving on the County Committee adhere to the following timeline.
Deadline for nominations: December 2.
Election ballots sent to eligible urban farmers: January 3
Deadline to return ballots: January 31
The elected three-person Urban Agriculture FSA committee will begin responsibilities on March 1.
To nominate someone or to self-nominate individuals need to complete file FSA-669A-3, which is available here.
To register to vote in the election individuals need to submit an AD-2047, Customer Data Worksheet to the Will/Cook FSA Office. The AD-2047 can be found here.
Completed forms should be submitted to the Will/Cook County FSA Office, 1201 Gougar Rd. in New Lenox, IL 60451 by December 2, 2022.
On November 17 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., there is a zoom drop-in clinic for individuals seeking assistance to complete forms become a client and/or self-nominate for the county committee. Interested individuals should contact Bona Heinsohn at firstname.lastname@example.org for the link.
What does the county committee do?
County Committee members serve a three-year term. However, as the Urban Ag committee is established one COC member will serve a one-year term, one member will serve a two-year term, and one member will serve a three-year term.
The three-person Urban Agriculture FSA committee will be responsible for hiring the Cook County Executive Director as well as a program technician.
Benefits of an FSA Office in Cook County
FSA currently offers services to producers in Cook County at the Will/Cook County Office in New Lenox. However, a USDA Service Center located in Cook County will provide more accessibility to programs and more opportunity for outreach to the urban growers and Community Based Organizations in Cook County.
FSA manages many farm programs and farm loans that provide financial assistance to farming operations.
Register with FSA
To register individuals need to submit an AD-2047, Customer Data Worksheet to the Will/Cook FSA Office. The AD-2047 can be found here.