South Dakota Agricultural Mediation Program

The 1988 South Dakota legislature passed a law that established a Farm Loan Mediation Program. Mediation helps agricultural borrowers and lenders by bringing them together with a neutral person, called a mediator, who assists in resolving their financial disputes in a confidential setting.

The goal of mediation is getting the borrower and lender to work together, discuss options and find the best solution for all involved. Mediation can be instrumental in avoiding litigation.

Click here for farm loan mediation frequently asked questions.
Agricultural Mediation Requirements

Agricultural lenders are required by law to request mandatory mediation before taking any legal action on an agricultural loan if the borrower owes $50,000 or more. Any agricultural borrower or lender can request voluntary mediation to help resolve a financial dispute of any amount. All information is strictly confidential.

Laws Governing South Dakota Agricultural Mediation

Statutes (SDCL 54-13) and Rules (12:20)

Additional information can be found at the USDA Agricultural Mediation Program website.
The Benefits of Mediation

  •     Provides a rapid time frame for decisions.
  •     Provides a confidential forum to discuss complex issues.
  •     Promotes fair solutions to both sides of the dispute.
  •     Provides alternative solutions to issues and problems.
  •     Provides mediators who are neutral facilitators only.
  •     Supports stability and diversity in rural economies.

What do participants say about mediation?

    “Mediation has been helpful and I believe the process continues to develop and improve as everyone has become more familiar with the system. Mediation is necessary for borrowers/lenders to work out issues.”

    “I think it is an outstanding way to bring two sides together, after talks have broken off, to resolve their differences. Thank you.”

    “We appreciate the time and efforts expended by (the mediator)… The mediation offered the parties an opportunity to exchange views and perceptions. The mediation clearly served as an indispensable foundation for the settlement that was ultimately reached.”

    “Expressing new ideas allowed for an alternate solution to the problem.”


Contact South Dakota Agricultural Mediation Program

Terri LabBrie
South Dakota Department of Agriculture
523 E. Capitol Ave
Foss Bldg
Pierre, South Dakota  57501-3182
Phone: (605) 773-5436
Fax: (605) 773-3481


Service Area

Statewide service provider in:
  • South Dakota

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