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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
E-mail: ag.mediation@mt.gov

Ag News

Farmers Market Season Kicks Off Across Montana

Over 70 markets throughout Montana; directory available online

Farmers Market Season Kicks Off Across Montana

Helena, Mont. – With Spring weather throughout Montana kicking into high gear, farmers and ranchers are offering fresh, local produce, meats, and value-added foods at Farmers Markets throughout the state. Over 70 Farmers Markets are registered with the Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) for the 2018 season and a directory is available online at farmersmarkets.mt.gov. Montana Farmers Markets are community events that are well attended by locals and tourists alike, as many markets host food trucks, activities for kids and families, and craft vendors in addition to local agriculture stands.

Public Meeting Notice: Montana Pulse Crop Committee Meeting Wednesday, May 30th

Meeting via conference call - join by dialing (406) 444-4647 and using access code 675894

Public Meeting Notice: Montana Pulse Crop Committee Meeting Wednesday, May 30th

Helena, Mont. – The Montana Pulse Crop Committee will meet at 10:00 am on Wednesday, May 30th via conference call. Those wishing to join by phone can join the meeting by dialing (406) 444-4647 and using access code 675894. Those unable to join via their own phone are invited to sit in on the call at the Montana Department of Agriculture (302 N. Roberts) in Conference Room 225.

The Montana Department of Agriculture’s mission is to protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries. 

Public Notice: Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council Business Meeting on July 11

The meeting will be held at Comfort Inn, 455 McKinley Ave, Shelby, MT

Public Notice: Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council Business Meeting on July 11

Click here for the draft meeting agenda. Meeting details:

  • Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council Business Meeting
  • July 11, 2018
  • 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Location - Comfort Inn, 455 McKinley Ave., Shelby, M

Jim Auer
Grants Coordinator

Phone : (406) 444-5424
E-mail : Ag.mediation@mt.gov
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601

Ag Mediation Forms & Files

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