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Competency Area 9: Conservation Planning AEM

PO 90. Understand the roles and responsibilities of the local, state, and federal conservation agencies (i.e. CES, SWCD, FSA, NRCS, DEC, RD, EPA, DOH, and RC&D).

  1. Cooperative Extension Service (CES)
  2. Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD)
  3. Farm Service Agency (USDA-FSA)
  4. Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS)
  5. Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS-DEC)
  6. Rural Development (USDA-RD)
  7. Environmental Protection Agency (US-EPA)
  8. Department of Health (NYS-DOH, County-DOH)

Farm Service Agency (USDA-FSA)


The Farm Service Agency (FSA) administers and manages farm commodity, credit, conservation, disaster and loan programs as laid out by Congress through a network of federal, state, and county offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of the agricultural industry and to help farmers adjust production to meet demand. Economically, the desired result of these programs is a steady price range for agricultural commodities for both farmers and consumers.

State and county offices directly administer FSA programs. These offices certify farmers for farm programs and pay out farm subsidies and disaster payments. Currently, there are 2,346 FSA county offices in the continental states. FSA also has offices in Hawaii, and a few American territories.

More than 8,000 farmer county committee members serve in FSA county offices nationwide. Committee members are the local authorities responsible for fairly and equitably resolving local issues while remaining dually and directly accountable to the Secretary of Agriculture and local producers though the elective process. They operate within official regulations designed to carry out Federal laws and provide a necessary and important voice in Federal decisions affecting their counties and communities. Committee members make decisions affecting which FSA programs are implemented county-wide, the establishment of allotment and yields, commodity price support loans and payments, conservation programs, incentive, indemnity, and disaster payments for commodities, and other farm disaster assistance.