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

Farm transition mediaitons will be billed at $25 per hour per party for hours spent in mediaiton. Mediations regarding USDA adverse decisions will be done free of charge. 

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

Governor Bullock Announces Support for Local Meat Processors, Small Businesses and Local Governments Across Montana

CARES Act funding will be used to put more Montana meat on shelves and reimburse local governments for COVID-19 related expenses

Governor Bullock Announces Support for Local Meat Processors, Small Businesses and Local Governments Across Montana



MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today announced funding through the federal CARES Act will be used to boost in-state processing and storage capacity for local meat processors, to provide additional financial assistance for small businesses, and to reimburse local governments for COVID-19 related expenses.

The Montana Meat Processing Infrastructure Grant is available to aid small and medium-sized meat processors responding to COVID-19 supply chain disruptions by supporting local meat processing infrastructure and capacity in Montana.

“These grants will boost processing and storage capacity. They’ll help Montana businesses put more Montana meat onto more shelves. Plus, an increase in in-state processing means more direct sales, and better, value-added markets for producers,” Governor Bullock said. “These investments will bolster Montana’s food security, making us stronger in response to the pandemic, as well as long into the future.”

Due to interruptions in national supply chains, meat processing capacity throughout the US has been significantly impacted. Supporting in-state meat processing infrastructure and capacity will provide alternative market channels for Montana’s cattle, hog and poultry producers. Examples of eligible expenses include equipment and infrastructure that increases processing and/or storage capacity, costs associated with becoming state or federally inspected, and other business adaptation and diversification activities. Total funding available through the program is $2,000,000, with a maximum award of $150,000. Applications are being accepted now at COVIDRELIEF.MT.GOV. The deadline to apply is July 2, 2020 at 5:00pm.


Public Meeting Notice: MT Wheat & Barley Committee Board Virtual Meeting

Wednesday, June 24th at 9:00 a.m.

Public Meeting Notice: MT Wheat & Barley Committee Board Virtual Meeting

The Montana Wheat and Barley Committee Summer Meeting will take place on a virtual meeting format, on Wednesday, June 24, 2020. The meeting will start at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, and last until 12:00 p.m. 

To receive call-in information please contact the MWBC office with and provide your email address. As always, the public is invited to participate virtually in the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee board meeting.

For more information, please visit https://wbc.agr.mt.gov/, call (406) 761-7732, or email wbc@mt.gov.

Documents to download

Public Meeting Notice: MT Pulse Crop Committee Zoom Conference Call

June 9th at 9:00 a.m.

Public Meeting Notice: MT Pulse Crop Committee Zoom Conference Call

The Montana Pulse Crop Committee will meet via Zoom teleconference at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 9th. For more information, please contact Weston Merrill, at (406) 444-3407.

Zoom Meeting Information

To join by computer: https://zoom.us/j/91650348866 [zoom.us]

To join by phone: (877) 853-5247; Meeting ID: 916 5034 8866

Click to learn more about the Montana Pulse Crop Committee.

Documents to download

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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