Tulare County Farm Service Agency announces Susan Mello’s election to the County Committee
TULARE COUNTY – An Orosi cattle rancher is the newest member of local committee designed to give Tulare County farmers a voice in the local implementation of federal agriculture policy.
USDA’s Tulare County Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced Jan. 25 Susan Mello was elected to represent local administrative area (LAA) 1 of County Committee in Tulare County. Mello resides in Orosi and has been involved in beef cattle production for 10 years. She is an active member of the California Cattlemen’s Association, Tulare County Cattlewomen’s, Red Angus Association and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Mello will serve a three-year term on the committee which also includes chairperson Craig Ainley, vice chairperson Robert Sepeda, member Marlon Daly and advisor Alex Garcia.
County committee members are a critical component of the day-to-day operations of FSA. 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 2021 and will be joining the existing committee. Every FSA office is required to have a county committee, which are made up of local farmers, ranchers and foresters elected by local producers.
County committee members impact the administration of FSA within a community by applying their knowledge and judgment to help FSA make important decisions on commodity support programs, conservation programs, indemnity and disaster programs, emergency programs and eligibility.
County committee members serve local 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.