- Associated Press - Friday, September 18, 2015

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota Department of Agriculture’s agricultural mediation program has been recertified by USDA’s Farm Service Agency.

The department says mediation is an alternative method of resolving agricultural disputes. The department is authorized to mediate disputes that involve debtor and creditor, federal lands, oil and gas and water drainage. Certain areas of the mediation program are partially funded by a USDA grant.

Department finance and mediation administrator Terri LaBrie says the program has been around since the 1980s, although it has evolved over the years and added additional areas to mediate.

Mediation is mandatory for any agricultural credit dispute over $50,000. Mediation for water drainage, federal lands and oil and gas are all voluntary.

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