Agriculture Mediation Program

Mediation offered by the South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) can assist parties with disputes on the following topics:

  1. Agricultural credit issues (FSA and non-FSA agriculture loans)
  2. Federal land conflicts
  3. Oil and gas disputes
  4. Water drainage issues

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a process outside of the court system which is informal and confidential. The mediator is an impartial person who helps parties identify issues and work together to find possible solutions. The mediator does not favor one side or the other, or make decisions for the parties involved. Mediations may be more affordable than going through the court system.

What is the cost to participate in mediation?

Ag credit - $100.00 for the first hour of mediation and $25.00 for each additional hour, or fraction of an hour.

Federal lands or oil/gas - $200.00 filing fee per party. All parties equally share the other costs of mediation, including the mediator’s expenses.

Water drainage - $200.00 filing fee per party including interveners. All parties equally share all other costs of mediation, including mediator expenses.

How do I request Mediation?

  1. Mandatory Mediation - Creditors must request mandatory mediation before commencing action on an agricultural debt that is over $50,000
  2. Voluntary Mediation - Mediation services are available to resolve conflicts regarding agricultural land or property used in pursuit of, arising out of, or related to the occupation of the farming or ranching. Mediation is available in cases involving any amount and even where there is no threat of legal action.
  3. Federal Lands -Mediation services available to individuals or organizations who seek to resolve disputes with federal land management agencies.
  4. Oil & Gas - Mediation services available to individuals or organizations who seek to resolve disputes with oil and gas developers related to surface damages.
  5. Water Drainage - Mediation service available to property owners in resolving disputes over surface or subsurface water drainage. If you are requesting to intervene on a water drainage claim, please use this form