The Kansas Agricultural Mediation Service has been recertified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to continue its work in helping to resolve disputes.
KAMS offers dispute resolution services to Kansas farmers, ranchers, agricultural lenders, and USDA agencies in a confidential and non-adversarial setting outside the traditional legal process, said Forrest Buhler, KAMS staff attorney. Most services are available at no cost or at a reduced cost.
Anyone in the Kansas agricultural community who is involved in a financial dispute is encouraged to call toll free 800-321-3276, Buhler said. Information about the service is also available online at http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/kams/.
If, for instance, a Kansas agricultural producer receives what he or she considers an adverse decision from a USDA agency, a KAMS mediator may be able to help resolve the situation without going through the formal appeals process.
KAMS may also be able to help in situations where a lender or supplier is involved in a dispute with a producer over a credit issue.
In addition, the agency works with K-State Research and Extension to provide agricultural financial counseling and has an agreement with Kansas Legal Services, Inc., to provide legal representation to farmers and ranchers on a reduced-fee basis, depending on the producer's income.
The KAMS program has been in existence as a resource in Kansas since 1988. It is funded through a USDA grant program and administered by K-State Research and Extension.