Farmers May Transfer FSA Records

FSA offers a one-time open enrollment option based on convenience of location.

Minnesota farmers have the opportunity to transfer their Farm Service Agency records to another FSA County Office if it would be more convenient for the producer to do business with the agency.

"We recognize there are numerous farmers in Minnesota who do business with more than one FSA office or may be located closer to an FSA office in a neighboring county," says FSA state executive director Perry Aasness. "The open enrollment option may be something for those producers to consider."

Until recently, FSA required a program participant's county administrative office to be the office in which the principal farm operator resided. An administrative county change may now be permitted if the producer documents that a new administrative county office is significantly more convenient. The change must be to a contiguous county. In 2007, more than 500 Minnesota farmers selected the open enrollment option.

The open enrollment option is a one-time selection (for the current operator) and cannot be used to evade program rules. A farm operator or owner may initiate the farm transfer. By initiating this request, both the operator and owner agree to do business in the new administrative county.

Producers who use the open enrollment option and meet eligibility requirements will be able to vote for candidates running for county committee election in both the county where the producer's farm is physically located as well as where the producer's farm records are administered. However, an eligible producer can only be a candidate for the COC in the county in which the producer resides and has farming or ranching interests, regardless of where the producer's records are maintained.

More information on the use of open enrollment for FSA farm records transfer is available at USDA Service Centers.

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