California Ag Mediation Program Here To Help Farmers

Sacramento, Calif., (April 4, 2018) – Congress Helps Farmers in 1987. In 1987, Congress passed the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987 as a lifeline for producers who have seen their interest rates turn double digit, lost export markets, watched their land values crash and who in some cases took their own lives because they saw no other exit strategy. The Act authorized each state to certify a mediation program to help farmers and ranchers resolve problems with farm loans, credit issues, adverse decisions from the USDA, and several other challenges.

Still Strong 30 Years Later. Today, 41 states have established agricultural mediation programs and they continue to be a resource for producers. Yet even 30 years later, farmers are still struggling, especially in the dairy sector over the last few years, as well as other sectors, due to continuing water shortages and devastating freezes. Once again, we are seeing articles about how lives are impacted due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control as producers search for ways to preserve their legacy and their lands in an uncertain world.

A Free Resource for Producers. Despite the fierce independence of the farming community, data shows that when farmers know about resources, they use them. The California Agricultural Mediation Program (CALAMP) is an important resource for farmers to know about. CALAMP is confidential, voluntary and FREE for any farm loan or credit issue or adverse decision from the USDA. We also can address certain federal farm and conservation programs; wetlands determinations; grazing permits on national forest system lands; and rural housing loans. If we are not authorized to mediate a case for free under the Act, we will work on ways to make the cost reasonable. Maintaining positive business relationships with lenders, creditors, and USDA personnel is key. We can facilitate conversations that have become difficult and help you gather the information necessary to make an informed decision about the best path forward.

Requesting mediation is easy. Visit www.calamp.organd click on “request mediation” or call 916-330-4500 and dial ext. 101 for Matt Strassberg, 103 for the Southern California Program Coordinator Mary Madison Campbell, or 104 for the Northern California Program Coordinator Julia Rose Golomb. You can also email CA Agricultural Mediation Program staff at matts@emcenter.org; maryc@emcenter.org; or juliag@emcenter.org.

 

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