Two Burnet County ranchers are running for election to county committees for the Farm Service Agency, which operates under the direction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Nominated for the ballots, which are in the mail to area farmers and ranchers, are Samuel Burnam of Burnam Ranch outside of Marble Falls and Karen Lynn Bailey of Burnet.
To be counted, ballots must be returned in person to the San Saba-Mills County FSA office, 1606 E. Wallace St. in San Saba, or Lampasas-Burnet County FSA office, 502 S. Key in Lampasas; or by mail and postmarked by Dec. 4.
County committee members help FSA make important decisions on its commodity support programs, conservation programs, indemnity and disaster programs, emergency programs, and eligibility.
“FSA county committee members provide valuable knowledge and judgment as decisions are made about the services we provide, including disaster and safety-net programs,” said Beth Bataillon, acting county executive director for San Saba-Mills County, in a media release.
Each committee has three to 11 elected members who serve three-year terms. Newly elected committee members take office on Jan. 1, 2024.
Nominee Burnam has produced Angus F1 cross black baldy cattle for over 35 years. He is a former trustee of the Burnet County Hospital Authority and a former board member of the Burnet Central Appraisal District. He is currently a trustee of Walnut Methodist Church in Round Mountain. The Burnam Ranch has been in his family for 168 years.
Nominee Bailey produced vegetables, poultry, swine, and Boer goats while growing up in Minnesota. She has been in the beef cattle business since moving to Texas in 2012, but her primary livelihood is saddle making. She also founded a ranch ministry that offers free Family Fun Days to learn about horses through guided and agricultural-based activities.
To be eligible to vote in the county committee election, producers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program. A cooperating producer is someone who has provided information about their farming or ranching operation to the FSA, even if they have not applied or received program benefits. For county committee elections, producers who are not of legal voting age but supervise and conduct the farming operations of an entire farm are eligible to vote.
For more information, visit fsa.usda.gov/elections. Eligible voters who do not receive a ballot in the mail can request one from the San Saba-Mills County office at 325-372-3901 ext. 2 or the Lampasas-Burnet County office at 512-556-5572 ext. 2.