Elliot earns presidential appointment to FSA committee

Published 4:56 pm Thursday, February 4, 2010

Laura Elliott of Crenshaw County is proud to follow in her mother’s footsteps as an appointed member of the Alabama Farm Service Agency State Committee.

Official notification of the Obama Administration’s appointment of Elliott to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s state committee provides her the opportunity to serve Alabama farmers.

“These individuals work with the USDA to help farmers and ranchers build and maintain successful operations that produce the safe, nutritious food supply that America needs while spurring economic development in our nation’s rural communities,” said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “They bring the experience and passion necessary to help continue the Obama Administration’s efforts to rebuild and revitalize rural America.”

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Elliott already considers herself a member of the RSA family through her mother’s service on the same committee for two terms during the Clinton Administration.

“I feel like I’m a part of it already, and have been for a long time with my mother’s service. I know so many of the people in FSA statewide, and I’m looking forward to the work.”

Farming is a family tradition, dating back several generations to her great-grandfather’s days, she said.

“My father once owned a dairy farm. My husband, Scott, and I are now involved with poultry farming and CRP (conservation reserve program) pines,” said Elliott.

“This is an opportunity to represent farmers and people in our area, to make the best decisions and choices for our people here,” she said.

FSA State Committee members oversee the activities of the agency, including carrying out the state agricultural conservation programs, resolving appeals from the agriculture community, and helping to keep producers informed about FSA programs through 49 county offices.

Elliott is employed as director of the LBW Community College’s Luverne Center, providing adult education, focused industry training programs, and university transfer courses. She serves as city councilwoman for the city of Petrey in addition to service on the board of the Alabama Community Education Association.

Other appointees to the state FSA committee are Dr. Walter Hill of Tuskegee as chairperson; George Hodge of New Market; Danny Ellison of Headland; and Fred H. Hughes of Green County.

USDA’s Farm Services Agency works to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural Americans.

Some of the agency’s efforts include facilitating income support, disaster assistance and conservation programs, providing operating loans for the procurement of farm equipment, seed and fertilizer, as well as offering ownership loans to help new and veteran producers purchase a farm. FSA also works to procure various commodities to benefit low-income families through domestic food assistance programs.