KAMS and Mediation
The mediation process is designed to assist farmers, agricultural lenders and USDA agencies resolve disputes in a confidential and non-adversarial setting outside the traditional legal process. Mediation is a voluntary, confidential process in which a neutral third party (KAMS) helps those in conflict identify issues, options, and possible solutions.
KAMS' Role in Mediation
KAMS serves in an impartial third party role to ensure that the mediation process moves forward in a fair and orderly manner. KAMS can advise, counsel, and assist the parties in their efforts to reach a mutually agreeable solution; but KAMS can not and will not tell the parties how they should conduct their business or personal affairs. Nor can KAMS impose any particular agreement on the parties. Instead, it is KAMS' responsibility to:
Insure that all participants in the mediation process are given the opportunity to speak and be heard
Help define the issues
Emphasize common goals
Keep negotiations focused
Facilitate the development and discussion of options
A mediator does not make a determination nor a judgment of who is right or wrong. The mediator is there to facilitate open, frank discussion of the issues. The mediator is impartial, knowledgeable in the mediation process, and familiar with agriculture.
The participants are encouraged to discuss all issues, options and possible solutions. A successful mediation is almost always based on the voluntary cooperation and participation of all the parties.If the mediator assigned to a case is unacceptable to any of the parties, another mediator is assigned.