On Thursday, staff from Iowa Mediation Service(IMS) visited the Urbandale offices of the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) to provide information about the mediation process in Iowa. Kiley Fleming, Kathy Hall, and Daniel Butters of IMS presented information to new Farm Service Agency Loan Officers about the role of mediation when it comes to agricultural debt in the state of Iowa.
Since 1985, the State of Iowa has mandated that mediation be offered to debtors before a creditor can take certain actions to collect agricultural debts. As the USDA’s Farm Service Agency is a popular source of financing for farmers in Iowa, it is important for new Loan Officers to understand the laws, purpose, and benefits of mediation.
Kiley Fleming, the Executive Director of IMS, said, "Mediation empowers all parties to find solutions that may not otherwise be available,” adding “We really find it to be a successful method to resolve disputes between creditors and debtors. When we get to the mediation table, we have success, reaching an agreement over 75% of the time.”
The training lasted approximately 2 hours and covered the legal, administrative, and personal aspects of mediation.