What is Mediation?

USDA agencies offer mediation to anyone who has received an adverse decision as part of the informal appeals process. Mediation is an informal process. An impartial mediator facilitates communications between parties in an effort to help the parties reach agreement. The mediator is not a judge and cannot impose a solution on the parties. Instead, the mediator, through active listening skills and facilitative techniques, helps the parties work toward resolution. If an agreement is reached and reduced to writing, the written agreement can be enforced. 

What Kind of Cases Do We Mediate?

NCAMP mediates both covered and non-covered cases. Covered cases are at no cost to you and include:

  • An adverse decision by the USDA (FSA, NRCS, RMA, RD, etc.), including:
  • Home foreclosures, 
  • Loan denials,
  • Loan accelerations, 
  • Crop insurance disputes, and
  • Wetlands determinations.
  • Disputes with agricultural lenders (banks, farm credit institutions, etc.)
  • Disputes with vendors such as feed stores, co-ops, veterinarians, custom harvesters, and suppliers)

Here is an illustration of covered cases (excluding foreclosures):

Non-covered cases include everything else, such as:

  • Family succession issues,
  • Disputes with employees,
  • Multi-family tenant grievances,
  • Facilitation of farm disputes, and
  • Neighbor disputes.

What Does It Cost?

There is no charge for a covered mediation, as described above. There is a charge for non-covered cases, but the USDA or another entity may elect to cover all or part of the charge.

How Will Mediation Help Me?

Mediation offers you many advantages over other methods of resolving agricultural disputes including appealing to the National Appeals Division because the process:

  • Offers youan opportunity to start working on a resolution right away, without waiting through a lengthy appeal process;
  • Gives you  confidentiality;
  • Allows you who to create your own solutions;
  • Helps restore communication between you and the USDA representative or your creditors;
  • Preserves and enhances important business relationships;
  • Provides an impartial setting in which you can openly discuss all issues involved, including sensitive financial matters and personal issues that might not be considered in an appeal or trial; and
  • Saves you the time and cost involved with the appeal process or litigation.

Do You Have a Video That Shows Me a Mediation?

Videos and articles about mediation are available under the tab labeled Resources for Farmers

Contact Us!

Mailing Address:

Western Carolina Univ.
c/o Judith Stilz Ogden
950 Eagles Landing Pkwy, #213

Stockbridge, GA 30281


Debra Burke, Exec. Director
Phone: 828-227-3720
E-mail: burke@wcu.edu


Judith Stilz Ogden,
Mediation Director

Phone: 404-277-8515


FAX:     678-272-2784

E-Mail: ncampoutreach@bellsouth.net


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