USDA has recertified the Nebraska Farm Mediation program for federal fiscal year 2007.
"Recertification of this program verifies that the program meets or exceeds the standards set by the federal government," says Greg Ibach, director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. "Mediation services are especially important this year as farmers and ranchers continue to be affected by the ongoing drought."
The certification qualifies the Nebraska Farm Mediation Program to work with farmers and ranchers on issues, such as ag credit, compliance with farm program provisions, wetland determinations, rural water loans, rural housing loans and crop insurance.
"Mediation provides an impartial setting to maintain complete confidentiality for all parties involved," says Marian Beethe, program manager. "Mediators do not decide the issues for all parties, but rather allow the parties to reach a mutually agreeable situation."
The program also provides financial and credit counseling and assistance with financial and government program paperwork.
Beethe encourages farmers and ranchers with financial difficulties to contact her at 1-800-466-4071.
The Farm Mediation Program offers farm mediation clinics free of charge. To find out more about the clinics, contact Beethe or go online to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture Web site at www.agr.ne.gov, and then click on the Ag Calendar.