Owning and operating a farm can be very challenging and may involve conflicts with other farmers, businesses, or agencies. That’s why the Michigan Community Mediation Association is available to provide dispute resolution services for Michigan farmers.
“The biggest thing is to help farmers understand that we’re here and that we have a broad range of ability in helping them to resolve whatever dispute it may be,” says Jenny Miner with the Michigan Community Mediation Association (MCMA). She is also Executive Director of Citizens Mediation Service, one of the 16 Community Dispute Resolution Program mediation centers across Michigan who are members of the MCMA.
The organization is a statewide collaboration of dispute resolution centers who work together to provide a third-party mediator to seek viable resolutions for conflict disputes.
“Farmers often will have disputes around loans that they’ve received, such as agricultural credit,” according to Miner. “One dispute that we see quite often here in Michigan is the determination of wetlands or any kind of land determination sometimes those determinations come from the USDA. A farmer may have a different viewpoint of that determination or may have additional information that can add to that and maybe change that determination.”
Miner says they also handle issues beyond land disputes.
“There are so many things we can help resolve. Compliance with farming programs, crop insurance, pesticides, farm transitions, family inheritances through farming, and neighbor disputes,” says Miner. “Anytime there is a dispute that directly involves a person who works within the field of agriculture, then give us a call and we’ll talk to you about what we can and cannot do to help you.”
She adds that the MCMA works to solve these disputes by expediting the process that may otherwise be long and expensive.
There are a lot of opportunities for disagreement and through mediation when we can bring people to the table we have the third neutral party who really understands agriculture in this particular case there’s specified trained mediators for these types of cases when we bring that person to the table it just allows the opportunity for Clear communication to take place then we can generally come up with solutions to those disputes that work for all parties
For more information about the Michigan Community Mediation Association, or to find a mediation center near you, visit michiganmediates.org.
Click BELOW to hear C.J. Miller’s news report and interview with Jenny Miner with the Michigan Community Mediation Association.