Mediation Training

The Maine Agricultural Mediation Program (MAMP) offers mediation training throughout the year. Specific training for mediators interested in helping USDA producers with mediation is held on a regular basis.

A couple of our upcoming training opportunity offerings include:

16-Hour Agricultural Mediation Training

Interested in learning more about conflict resolution and resources in agriculture or becoming a Maine Agricultural Mediation Program (MAMP) co-mediator? MAMP offers mediators the opportunity to co-mediate* a wide range of goals, issues, and needs on farms and/or involving producers, loan holders, and members of the ag community.

This 16-hour training will introduce you to the range of topics covered in agricultural mediation. The training includes multiple guest speakers and daily opportunities to practice and review case studies around the types of conflicts and issues that arise within Maine’s agricultural community.

*Please note: Completion of MAMP’s 16-hour Ag Mediation Training and a 40-hour basic mediation training (or equivalent) is required to apply to be a MAMP Co-mediator.

Dates and Time:

Session #1: Wednesday, April 3rd – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (via Zoom)
Session #2: Wednesday, April 10th – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (via Zoom)
Session #3: Wednesday, April 17th – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (via Zoom)
Session #4: Wednesday, April 24th – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (In person @ Augusta, locale TBD)

Fee: $0, There is no cost to attend.

There is no cost to attend. This training is generously funded through the United States Department of Agriculture, Maine Agricultural Mediation Program.


Register Online


Multiple presenters will share their work and how it intersects with the work of MAMP. Over the four (4) sessions you’ll learn from ag service providers from the USDA, FSA, Land for Good, MOFGA, Cooperative Extension, Family and Community Mediation, and more.

The sessions will be facilitated by Lucy Wess and Leslie Forstadt from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the MAMP. Additionally, Karen Groat, UMA Libra Professor, and mediation professional will also provide guidance and instruction during the training.


For more information or to get on the waitlist for the next training (TBD) contact us at

40-Hour Basic Mediation Training for Ag Producers and Service Providers

MAMP invites farmers/fishers/ag community members and a service providers interested in becoming mediators, looking to enhance conflict resolution/management skills or learn how to assist others in resolving their conflict-related issues to apply for our upcoming training. We’re offering a 5-day hands-on, highly interactive practical training in Bangor, Maine (see below for details). This training is designed as a “low barrier” offering with a focus on welcoming a diverse class of trainees – including but not limited to those in traditionally underserved communities such as BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, refugee/ asylum seekers as well as bi-lingual language speakers.

This comprehensive training will include: demonstrations, discussions, exercises, videos, and role-play practice with mediation scenarios, in addition to mini-lectures. The sessions will focus on both the facilitative and transformative orientation models. Co-Instructors, Karen Groat & Leah Boyd (see bios below), will lead the training sessions and guest mediator coaches will provide additional support, guidance, and experience to participants.

Trainees will learn:

  • Conflict theory and stress response
  • Theories and practice of mediation – both facilitative and transformative models
  • Screening for mediation appropriateness
  • Ways to build and enhance participant rapport
  • Effective interventions and practice
  • The impact of mediator influence and bias
  • Standards of mediator practice and ethics
  • The professional limitations of mediation practice

Learn new skills, understand how to apply them to your life and to a mediation practice by taking this training. Past participants report an amazing shift in the way they talk, listen and problem solve — at work and in their
family life. At the conclusion of the training, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion, a commonly accepted state and national standard. Note: Participants are expected to attend and engage in all training sessions to receive the certificate of completion.

Training Details for Prospective Trainees/Participants

Who: 12 seats available (with the aim of balancing the number of a service providers and farmers).
What: MAMP 40-hour Basic Mediation Training, Winter ’24
When: January 2024

Session Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (one hour for lunch)
First Week Dates: Wednesday, January 17, Thursday, January 18, and Friday, January 19
Second Week Dates: Thursday, January 25 and Friday, January 26

Where: UMaine Extension Penobscot County Office, 307 Maine Avenue, Bangor, Maine


Farmers: MAMP will cover the cost of training + housing for those located 60 miles outside of Bangor. Farmers will be responsible for their meals and transportation.

Ag Service Providers: Training cost $500 per trainee (currently 40-hour mediation training programs in ME charge $1,000+ per trainee)* Ag Service Providers will be responsible for their housing, meals and transportation. *Understanding that professional development/education funds may vary from organization to organization, we have available some partial training scholarships and/or housing subsidies for providers who are located 60 miles outside of Bangor. Scholarships/ subsidies will be considered upon request on a case-by-case basis.

Additional Info:

The training location has a full kitchen with a refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, etc. for those who would like to bring their lunch, drinks, etc. MAMP will provide snacks and water throughout the training. Participants are expected to attend all training sessions to receive a certificate. In the event of inclement weather, MAMP will notify participants via e-mail, provide Zoom information and training sessions will be conducted online.


Register Online


Please e-mail Shiela Leonard at or call Lucy Wess at 207.974.9637 for more information.

Meet Our Co-Instructors

Photo of Karen GroatKaren Groat is Libra Professor of Mediation at the University of Maine Augusta Justice Studies and has over 20 years of mediation, consulting, and teaching experience in Maine. As former director of the Opportunity Alliance Family Mediation program and co-establishing the Family and Community Mediation (FCM), she has worked extensively with mediators, adults and youth, communities, and organizations specializing in complex family matters, multi-party disputes and workplace conflict in more than 3800 mediations. An experienced Transformative Mediation trainer and communication coach, Karen combines research from neuroscience and trauma-informed care in her relational practice. In 2018, she expanded work in collaboration with University of Maine Cooperative Extension for farmer and farm worker well-being. This work includes Farm Coaching (receiving the 2021 ERME Outstanding Project Award), agricultural mediation (MAMP), and offering peer support and training to service providers in Northeast ag and rural communities.

Photo of Leah BoydLeah Boyd is a mediator, facilitator and certified trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication. She is co-owner of Clarity Services, LLC offering communication-related services to a variety of organizations, families, communities and individuals. Leah began mediating in 2010 and has served on numerous rosters including Maine District Court and Department of Education.

Karen and Leah will be joined by other professionals in the mediation field with experience in a variety of Alternative Dispute Resolution and Restorative Practices.

This training is hosted by the Maine Agricultural Mediation Program (MAMP) a University of Maine Cooperative Extension program which is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). MAMP is a proud member of the Maine Farmer Resource Network (MFRN) & Coalition of Agricultural
Mediation Programs (CAMP)

If you are a person with a disability and need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Shiela Leonard at, to discuss your needs. Receiving requests for accommodations at least 7 days before the program provides a reasonable amount of time to meet the request, however, all requests will be considered.

In complying with the letter and spirit of applicable laws and pursuing its own goals of diversity, the University of Maine System does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship status, familial status, ancestry, age, disability physical or mental, genetic information, or veterans or military status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities. The University provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director of Equal Opportunity, 5703 Alumni Hall, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5754, 207.581.1226, TTY 711 (Maine Relay System).