Mediation is an alternative process to trying to resolve a conflict in court and incurring burdensome legal expenses or appealing directly to the USDA. Participants in the mediation process create their own solution. The mediator does not arbitrate the settlement. Flexibility in considering a full range of realistic options is encouraged in the solution process. The fact that disputing parties are meeting together in the same room for the purpose of working out a solution to the particular matter(s) enables everyone to deal openly and knowledgeably with the full array of issues. All steps are taken to ensure confidentiality.
STEPS IN AGRICULTURAL MEDIATION
WHAT HAPPENS IF AN AGREEMENT IS NOT REACHED?
If a final agreement cannot be reached, the parties will not be worse off than if they had not tried mediation, with the difference that everyone involved will have a better understanding of the various perspectives, will have explored several options, and have a fuller grasp of the situation. All parties will retain their full set of options to seek a solution through legal or other means. At no time should the mediation process be considered a delaying tactic.