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What is Mediation?

Mediation is a form of dispute resolution where parties meet with a neutral mediator to help guide them toward agreement.

The mediator does not make decisions, they serve only to ensure all avenues to resolution are explored.

The role of the mediator is to facilitate conversation, establish ground rules and make sure that everyone has an opportunity to voice their position.

Why Mediation?

  • Parties control the process and the outcome.
  • Provides a rapid time frame for decisions.
  • Provides an opportunity to avoid costly litigation.
  • Provides a confidential forum to discuss complex issues.
  • Promotes fair solutions to both sides of the dispute.
  • Provides alternative solutions to issues and problems.
  • Provides neutral, trained mediators.

Who May Apply for Mediation?

Producers, creditors and other persons involved or affected by an agriculture related dispute.

Who are the Mediators?

All mediators are Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) employees who have completed mediation training. MDA practices a co-mediation model to ensure a broad range of expertise in the room and to aid in the resolution of disputes.

What Types of Disputes does MDA Mediate?

Any disputes where agriculture is involved can be mediated by the Montana Department of Agriculture. Requests will be considered on a case by case basis.

Disputed Issues may Include:

  • USFS grazing permits
  • Ag credit
  • USDA adverse decisions
  • Neighbor / neighbor conflicts
  • Ag family estate planning
  • Easement / access issues
  • Ag business disagreements
  • Agriculture related water issues

How does the Process Work

Ag Mediation Program
PO Box 200201
Helena, MT 59601

  • Once the request is received, MDA staff will contact each involved party.
  • Either party can accept or reject the request for mediation.
  • Once the parties agree to mediation, MDA will assign a mediator, all parties will be notified and a date, time and place will be set for the mediation to take place.
  • Plan the whole day for mediation. Some mediations may only take a couple of hours, others may take several days.
  • Mediations are voluntary and either party may end the mediation at any time without reaching an agreement.
  • Once the parties have reached an agreement, the mediator will draw up the agreement and both parties will sign.
  • At the end of each mediation, each party will be invoiced. Payment is expected at the end of the meeting.

What is the Cost of Mediation

The cost of mediation is $100 per hour, per party; however, if the mediation involves USDA, there is no charge. Payment will be due immediately following the conclusion of mediation.

If the cost of mediation is not affordable, contact the program manager.

P.O. Box 200201
Helena, MT 59620

Phone: (406) 444-5424
Fax: (406) 444-9442

Ag News

Hail Program Spring Outreach Events in May

Staff will visit Conrad, Lewistown and Circle

Hail Program Spring Outreach Events in May

Staff from the State Hail Program will be visiting areas of the state this spring. We will be available to sell you a current hail policy and to answer any questions or concerns Montana producers have about the Hail Program.

Visit us in these locations:

  • Conrad, Montana on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 from 10:00 am until 12 noon.  We will be at the Pondera County Courthouse in the EOC conference room.
  • Lewistown, Montana on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm.  We will be at the Yogo Inn, Kendall Room.
  • Circle, Montana on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm.  We will be at the McCone County Fairgrounds, in the Kitchen building.

We look forward to seeing you and serving you close to home.

Jana S Mertens
Montana Department of Agriculture

New Interactive Map of 2018 Noxious Weed Trust Fund Grant Recipients

New Interactive Map of 2018 Noxious Weed Trust Fund Grant Recipients

View locations and information about projects that were awarded 2018 Noxious Weed Trust Fund grants on this new interactive GIS map at

Click here to open the map, and visit the Noxious Weed Trust Fund Grants page for more information about the program, including application info.

2018 Fee, Rate Updates for State Grain Lab, Hail Insurance

New rates are now listed on the Department of Ag website

2018 Fee, Rate Updates for State Grain Lab, Hail Insurance

Fees for the State Grain Lab have been updated for 2018. New rates are effective as of April 2, 2018. Click here for the complete Fee Schedule, or visit the Grain Lab page for more info.

2018 Hail Insurance rates are also available now - click here for 2018 Hail Insurance rates by county, or visit the Hail Insurance page for more info.


Jim Auer
Grants Coordinator

Phone : (406) 444-5424
E-mail :
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601

Ag Mediation Forms & Files

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