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Farm mediation program

Mediation: a preferred way to resolve disputes

Mediation is a useful tool to address difficult conflicts. A professional mediator brings all the parties together, facilitates the discussions, and helps meaningful dialogue to occur. The mediator acts as a neutral third party with no decisionmaking authority.  If the mediation is successful, the parties negotiate a settlement agreement.

Mediation can be a lower-cost and less stressful alternative to the court system. In court, one party wins, the other loses, and the judge or jury decide. In mediation, the mediator works with the parties to develop an agreement that each can live with.

Mediation can be a good fit for many types of disputes involving farms. The following are just a few examples of issues that could be resolved through mediation.
  • Employer-employee conflicts
  • Odor/nuisance problems
  • Trespass and property boundary issues
  • Landlord-tenant farmer conflicts
  • Farm product sales contracts
  • Irrigation water disputes
  • Family business and transition concerns
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Oregon's farm mediation program

The Oregon Farm Mediation Program provides professional mediators for agricultural and rural disputes. The hourly rate for most types of cases is $30 per party, but mediation is available at no charge for labor cases. At least one party to the dispute must be a farmer. To participate in the program, download the application form and email it to the program coordinator. You may also contact the program coordinator at 503-986-4558 or 1-800-347-7028. Once we receive completed applications from all parties, we will assign the case to a professional mediator.

After participating in the program, over 95% of participants said they would recommend mediation to someone else. More than 85% of participants indicated they were satisfied with the outcome of the mediation.
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The Central Oregon water dispute program

ODA, along with numerous agencies, local governments, and organizations, created the Central Oregon Water Dispute Program to address emerging conflicts among water users. Irrigation districts in Central Oregon historically delivered water to farmers who irrigated large acreages. Today, many of those farmers are now divided into smaller acreages where irrigation districts deliver to a single head gate. Multiple water users, now on the same ditch, can find working together to be complicated. The Central Oregon Water Dispute Program provides professional mediators at $35 per hour per party.
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Applications

Download the general application form as a Word document or pdf for all agriculture disputes except labor cases.

Download the labor application form for all labor-related disputes (wage claims, employee housing, etc) as a Word document or pdf.

Email your completed forms to the program coordinator or mail or fax them to the contact information listed on the form.
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