|Mediation Services Available for Farmers and Ranchers
Mediation in Ag
Jody Heemstra/SDDA - April 13, 2017
PIERRE, S.D.- The South Dakota Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Mediation Program is available for farmers and ranchers in financial distress.
“The Agricultural Mediation Program has been around since the 1980s; although it has evolved over the years and added additional areas to mediate,” says Nina Fromm, mediation specialist for SDDA. “Mediation is a great way to resolve disputes outside of the court system by providing a neutral third party mediator to facilitate a resolution. It’s confidential and mediation fees are minimal compared to litigation.”
Agricultural Mediation Program areas include debtor/creditor, federal lands, oil and gas and water drainage mediation.
Mediation is mandatory for any agricultural credit over $50,000. Mediation is voluntary for any credit under $50,000. Mediation for the program areas of water drainage, federal lands, and oil/gas are all voluntary.
“We have seen an increase in mediation requests over this last year. It’s important our farmers and ranchers know this program exists with the continuation of low commodity prices,” said Fromm. “Financial counseling services are also available for clients in mediation. This service is free and is an important tool when looking at options."
More information on the department’s Agricultural Mediation Program and any of the financial programs the department has to offer can be found at http://sdda.sd.gov/ag-development/ or by calling the Division of Ag Development at 605.773.5436.