Free Mediation Services Available to Northeast Dairy Farming Community

03 January 2022
A photo of a black and white cow grazing in a field of green grass with a barn roof and trees visible on the horizon. Free mediation is available to the dairy farming community throughout the Northeast is written in white text on top of the grass.

Free mediation is available to the dairy farming community in New England, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania through state Agricultural Mediation Programs. 

Free Mediation Helps Farmers Address Financial Challenges

By Laura Hardie on behalf of the Vermont Agricultural Mediation Program (VTAMP)

As a dairy farmer, you know what it’s like to face shortfalls. It’s not just about the price of milk. Changes in vendors, a bad harvest year, the rising cost of goods, or an unexpected equipment replacement can make things tight. After how hard you’ve worked, you want to enjoy the rewards of farming, not feel constantly stressed. Whatever your situation is, mediation can help get you back on track. In addition to financial challenges, mediation can help with farm transitions, farmer/neighbor conflicts, leases and other issues. 

Common Challenges 

Although every situation is different, mediators work with many dairy farms who have fallen behind on farm loans or have debts to creditors, such as feed dealers. Mediators work with both parties to find a mutually acceptable solution. Those solutions can include restructuring  farm loans with lenders or reaching installment payment plans with creditors. 

What is Mediation?

Mediation is an informal process where parties meet with a neutral person (mediator) who helps them negotiate their differences. Mediators don’t decide who is legally right or wrong nor will they tell you what to do. Mediation leaves the decision-making power totally and strictly with the parties. Mediators with expertise in agricultural issues are available for free in states throughout the Northeast. 

Ag mediators know how stressful these situations can be, so they do everything they can to make them as easy as possible. Typical mediations last approximately three hours. Some take less, and others may require multiple sessions, depending on the complexity of the issues and the number of participants. Most people turn to mediation only after trying to resolve the issues on their own. Even when you’ve tried everything to fix the problem, mediation can often be successful. 

Recent data from the American Arbitration Association show success rates as high as 85 percent when mediation is tried before resorting to arbitration, litigation, or some other dispute resolution method.

And because services are free, there’s no reason not to reach out if you need help. Find your state in the list below to get started. Know someone who could benefit from mediation? Share this flyer about mediation services available for free to Northeast dairy farmers.

State Agricultural Mediation Programs

Connecticut Agricultural Mediation Program

Loraine Della Porta or Bill Logue
(800) 870-2577
ctamp@quinnipiac.edu
CTAgMediation.org

Maine Agricultural Mediation Program

Leslie Forstadt
207-581-3487
maineagmediation@maine.edu
extension.umaine.edu/agriculture/agricultural-mediation

Massachusetts Agricultural Mediation Program

Courtney Breese
617-287-4046
courtney.breese@umb.edu
tinyurl.com/MA-AgMediation

New Hampshire Agricultural Mediation Program

Cara Cargill or Matt Strassberg
(603) 685-4780
carac@emcenter.org; matts@emcenter.org
NHAMP.org

New Jersey Agricultural Mediation Program

David Kimmel
609-984-2504
david.kimmel@ag.n.gov
nj.gov/agriculture/sadc/agmediation

New York State Agricultural Mediation Program

Claudia Kenny
866-669-7267
info@nysamp.com
NYSAMP.com

Pennsylvania Agricultural Mediation Program

Jackie Schweichler
814-746-4619 or (814) 865-4290
AgMediation@pennstatelaw.psu.edu
PAAgMediation.com

Rhode Island Agricultural Mediation Program

Martha Machnik or Tricia Driscoll
401-273-9999
info@cmcri.org
CMCRI.org

Vermont Agricultural Mediation Program

Matt Strassberg
(802) 583-1100
matts@emcenter.org
VTAMP.org

Contact Information

Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

116 State Street
Montpelier, Vt 05620-2901
802.828.2430

 

Program Contacts

  • Media Inquiries                      802.622.4662
  • Licensing & Registration        802.828.2436
  • Business Development          802.828.1619
  • Feed, Seed, Fertilizer & Lime  802.828.5050
  • Working Lands                    802.622.4477
  • Public Health & Resource Management                802.828.2431
  • Laboratory                                  802.585.6073
  • Animal Health                        802.828.2421
  • Dairy                              802.828.2433
  • Consumer Protection / Weights & Measures                           802.828.2433
  • Produce Program                  802.461.5128
  • Meat Inspection                    802.828.2426
  • Water Quality                               802.828.2431
    • Grants                                  802.622.4098
    • Enforcement                                802.828.2431
    • Reports                                      802.272.0323
    • BMP's                                      802.828.3474
  • Act 250                          802.828.2431 
  • Pesticide                        802.828.2431