Be the Link: Farming, Family and Community

The nomination period for the USDA Farm Service Agency’s annual county committee elections began June 15 and continues through Aug. 1, 2023. Throughout the nomination period, we’ll be introducing county committee members from across the nation. This week, meet Chad Budy of Woods County, Oklahoma.

Person standing in barren field
Fourth-generation farmer, Chad Budy, serves on the FSA county committee in Woods County, Oklahoma. Photo by Madeline Alewine.

Preparing the Next Generation

Chad is a fourth-generation farmer and rancher on Budy Farms where they raise beef cattle along with alfalfa, wheat, soybeans, and other small grains. Chad, a father of four, understands the value of passing along knowledge to younger generations. His two oldest sons actively farm and ranch alongside other family members. Some of Chad’s motivation stems from simply improving the land to make it better for his sons when they take over.

“Make the land better than how it was when you got it,” said Chad.

To aid in this endeavor, Budy Farms has participated in the Natural Resource Conservation Service’s Conservation Stewardship Program, which helps producers build on their existing conservation efforts and strengthen their operations. In addition, Budy Farms has participated in FSA’s Conservation Reserve Program, which provides yearly rental payments to landowners who agree to remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production.

Preserving the land for generations to come is not Chad’s only motivation– he says it’s the best place to raise a family.

“Farming gives our kids a work ethic,” said Chad. “When working on the farm, they have hard work engrained in their bones and it translates to their friendships, their schoolwork, and into the workforce. I wouldn’t raise my family anywhere else.”

Staying Optimistic

Budy Farms has been involved in numerous FSA programs for their small grains, cattle, and risk management. Chad believes in maintaining a relationship with the FSA county office and taking advantage of the programs.

“The government has put programs out there as a tool to use. This is more than just a handout,” he said. “In the inevitable tough times, these programs can help tremendously.”

Chad’s operation participates in Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs, which are vital safety nets that provide agricultural producers with financial protections from substantial drops in crop prices or revenues. Chad utilized FSA’s Livestock Forage Disaster Program to help recover from grazing losses due to the ongoing drought impacting Woods County.

Cattle standing in field
Budy Farms raise beef cattle along with alfalfa, wheat, soybeans, and other small grains. Photo by Madeline Alewine.

Steppingstone to Community Success

To help keep him and other area agricultural producers in the know on FSA programs, Chad serves as a member of the FSA county committee in Woods County. County committee members are elected by their peers to serve as a direct link between the agricultural community and USDA. Producers on the committee help deliver FSA farm programs at the local level, and work to make federal farm programs serve local producers.

Each year, FSA accepts nominations for a certain Local Administrative Area and the LAA up for election rotates each year.

“I have always had interest in it. Whether it is being on the school board or on a committee at the church, those are invaluable experiences to help your community,” said Chad. “You have to help your community. I will always be an advocate to help your community any way you can.”

In addition to his family, Chad inspires and motivates his community as he travels across Oklahoma advocating for agriculture. He stresses the importance of other farmers and ranchers speaking out. He continues to persevere through the challenges that farming sometimes presents yet is reminded of why he loves farming every time he looks in the field and sees his father and children smiling while they work cattle or start harvest—together as a family.

More Information

For more information on FSA county committee elections, contact your local FSA office or visit


Madeline Alewine is the communications coordinator for FSA in Oklahoma.