Other Fields
Agency Scheme: 
Hearing Level: Basic Structure
Name of Hearing Office (local name): 
Office of Field Operations
Name of Hearing Office (global name): 
Department of Agriculture: Office of Field Operations
Farm Services Agency (FSA)
Hearing Officer #1 (Title): 
FSA County Committee
Hearing Officer #2 (Title): 
FSA State Committee
Are administrative appeals permitted from final decisions at the hearing-level stage?: 
Yes (Some Types of Cases)
Comments/Notes on Adjudication Structure: 

Very informal adjudication scheme for administrative review under Part 780 of adverse decisions in programs administered by the Farm Services Agency (FSA), or FSA on behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation, related to: making, guaranteeing, or servicing farm loans under chapters VII (i.e., Parts 700 - 799) and XVII (i.e., Parts 1804 - 1930) of Title 7; domestic conservation or commodities decisions by FSA (on behalf of CCC) through state and county committees or itself under chapters VII and XIV (i.e., Parts 1400 - 1470) of Title 7 or part VII; and penalties assessed under the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act (AFIDA). Adverse decisions include any FSA denial of program participation, benefits, written agreements, eligibility, or any other matter that results in participant receiving less funds than she/he believes should have been paid or not receiving a benefit she/he believes entitled. (See 7 CFR 780.2)

Aggrieved participants also have the right to seek mediation or appeal directly to the National Appeals Division under Part 11, with the exception of appeals related to AFIDA penalties and equitable relief.

PROCESS & PROCEDURE - General Information
Are private parties permitted to have representation at hearings?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
Who may serve as a private party representative?: 
Regulations/rules of practice for hearings (please include CFR citations): 
7 CFR pt. 780
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Pre-Hearing Procedure
Is discovery permitted by either party at the hearing-level stage?: 
Does the hearing officer have subpoena authority?: 
Are ex parte contacts prohibited?: 
Are parties provided notice of hearing?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Hearing Procedure
What types of hearings are permitted at the hearing-level stage?: 
Please provide the approximate percentage of each type of hearing relative to the total number of hearings (FY2013)
How is the type of hearing selected: 
Required by Rule
How many hearing officers preside at each hearing?: 
Varies by Case
If "Varies by Case," please describe: 
FSA county and state committees vary in size from 3 - 5 members per committee.
Is witness testimony permitted at hearings?: 
Can parties cross-examine witnesses?: 
Can third-parties submit amicus briefs and/or evidence?: 
Are hearings recorded and/or transcribed?: 
Only at Party Request
Are hearings open to the public?: 
Presumed Closed (But May Be Open Under Certain Conditions)
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Post-Hearing Procedure
Who has authority to issue final decisions?: 
Adjudication Officer
Do agency regulations or guidance provide time limits for issuance of final decisions?: 
Is judicial review available after issuance of a final decision?: 
Yes (Some Types of Cases)
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Case Management
Does the agency permit web-based electronic filing of hearing-related briefs or other documents?: 
Are final decisions published and/or posted on the agency website?: 
Do agency regulations/rules of practice specify the contents of the administrative record at the hearing-level stage?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
If "Yes," please provide citation(s): 
7 CFR 780.2
Do agency regulations/rules of practice provide for closure of the record at the hearing-level stage (subject to applicable exce: 
ADR: General Information
Is ADR available at one or more points during the hearing process?: 
If "Yes," when is ADR available?: 
Is ADR a mandatory or voluntary process?: 
What type(s) of ADR are available?: 
Who conducts the ADR?: 
Third-Party Neutral
Regulations/rules of practice governing ADR process (please include CFR citations): 
7 CFR 780.9; see also 7 CFR pt. 785 (certified state mediation program regulations)
Comments/Notes on ADR Process (Optional): 
Mediation is available at party request, and may sought any time between issuance of adverse decision and start of NAD hearing. Parties may be required to pay fee established by the mediation program. Mediation regulations guarantee mediator impartiality and confidentiality of mediation records. In states with FSA-certified mediation programs, mediation is conducted by such mediators. Otherwise, requests for mediation must me made with the applicable State Executive Director who, if funds are available, will select a qualified mediators. Mediation ends either at date set in mediation notice or when State Executive Director issues written notice declaring mediation at an impasse.
Verified by Agency: 
Not verified