Oklahoma Ag Mediation Provides Resources to Help Ag Producers Reconcile ConflictsFri, 21 Feb 2020 09:12:33 CST
Oklahoma Ag Mediation is a free service that provides mediation to agriculture producers who may need help with ag-related disputes.
Mike Mayberry, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Agriculture Mediation program says their goal is to be a neutral party that doesn't take sides but helps both parties find a compromise, "The two people that are in dispute can agree to come to mediation and work with the mediator and try to resolve the issue, whatever it might be."
Mayberry says even though mediation may not be something you need right now, itís good to keep it in mind for the future, "Sometimes we know it's very distressing to be a farmer or rancher in Oklahoma with all the things that can happen. Whether it be fire, flood, freeze, ice, all the things that can happen that could upset the rhythm of your operation, if that throws you off, and you need some help, give us a call and see if we can help."
Mediation is also very different from litigation. Mediation is an agreement of both parties to come to the room and resolve the issues. Mayberry says the mediator is always neutral, and doesn't take sides or make decisions, but encourages both sides to compromise and work out the problems on agreeable terms, "Generally we have a high solution rate, above 80%. It's a proven process, it's non-threatening, it's private, all the things you would want it to be, and the mediators try to get to a better answer than the parties have been able to get to by themselves."
These services are available at no cost for Oklahoma farmers and ranchers in all 77 counties. For more information, you can go to ok.gov/mediation.
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