Mediation is a useful tool to address difficult situations that may otherwise lead to legal action. A professional mediator brings all the parties together, facilitates the discussions, and helps meaningful dialogue to occur. If the mediation is successful, the parties negotiate a settlement agreement. The mediator can assist in drafting the document that represents the concepts agreed to by the parties. The mediator acts as a neutral third party with no decisionmaking authority.
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. It means the parties are generally more satisfied with the settlement and more inclined to make it work.
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