About Us and FAQs
The Maine Agricultural Mediation Program or “MAMP” is a certified U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Mediation Program. Our program services are funded by an annual grant administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA).
We are one of 43 programs across the country and belong to the Coalition of Agricultural Mediation Programs.
The MAMP staff and mediators provide conflict resolution to farmers, their lenders, and others directly affected by the actions of certain USDA agencies, neighbor disputes, and workplace and family disagreements that affect their lives and work.
MAMP provides mediation services if you have a dispute or difficulty with:
- agricultural loans, whether made by USDA or commercial lenders
- disputes involving USDA actions on farm and conservation programs
- wetland determinations
- rural water loan programs
- grazing on national forest system lands
- rural housing
- business loans
- family farm transition
- lease issues, including land and equipment leases
- neighbor disputes or disagreements (involving a farmer as one of the parties)
- the National Organic Program was established under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990
- worker/employer disagreement
Benefits & Advantages of Agricultural Mediation:
- Accessible Appeals Option:
- USDA program participants are offered the opportunity to request mediation prior to a formal administrative appeal. If this option is requested, MAMP will provide assistance to prepare participants for the mediation session(s).
- Organize Goals & Open Communication:
- MAMP Staff and Mediators help participants map out and discuss their individual and collective needs, interests, and goals in a useful, non-confrontational manner.
- The Outcome Is In Your Hands/ Self-Determination:
- Unlike judges or arbitrators who make decisions for people, mediators are neutral and have no decision-making authority. Mediation participants create solutions with the support of the MAMP mediators. Successful mediation is based on the cooperation and involvement of all participants.
- It Makes Financial Sense:
- Mediation can help resolve disputes within a participant’s financial means, providing a low-cost alternative to appeals or often expensive litigation and bankruptcy — currently, MAMP mediation services are offered free of charge.
- Your Time is Valuable:
- While it can take years for a case to filter through the courts, mediation generally involves several sessions, depending on the complexity of the issues and the number of participants. Additionally, sessions are held at a time and place convenient to all participants.
- Renew Your Peace of Mind:
- Mediation may reduce stress caused by lengthy conflicts, appeals processes, litigation, and/or bankruptcy.
- Confidentiality & Additional Pathways:
- Mediation is a confidential process. Documents are not used for any other legal action against the participants. If solutions and/or agreements are not reached in mediation, parties remain free to pursue other available administrative appeals and/or legal action.
— The Maine Agricultural Mediation Program is a USDA Farm Service Agency Program —