Certified State mediation program
means a program providing mediation services
that has been certified in accordance with § 785.3
means a mediation process in which the mediator
will not disclose to any person oral or written communications provided to the mediator
in confidence, except as allowed by 5 U.S.C. 574
or § 785.9
Covered persons means producers, their creditors (as applicable), and other persons directly affected by actions of the USDA involving one or more of the following issues:
Compliance with farm programs, including conservation programs;
Agricultural loans (regardless of whether the loans are made or guaranteed by the USDA or are made by a third party);
Rural water loan programs;
Grazing on National Forest System lands;
Such other issues as the Secretary may consider appropriate.
Fiscal year means the period of time beginning October 1 of one year and ending September 30 of the next year and designated by the year in which it ends.
FSA means the Farm Service Agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or a successor agency.
means all activities relating to the intake and scheduling of mediations; the provision of background and selected information regarding the mediation process; financial advisory and counseling services (as reasonable and necessary to prepare parties for mediation) performed by a person other than a State mediation program mediator
; and mediation sessions in which a mediator
assists disputing parties in voluntarily reaching mutually agreeable settlement of issues within the laws, regulations, and the agency's generally applicable program policies and procedures, but has no authoritative decision making power.
Mediator means a neutral individual who functions specifically to aid the parties in a dispute during a mediation process.
means a mediator
who meets the training requirements established by State law in the State in which mediation services
will be provided or, where a State has no law prescribing mediator
qualifications, an individual who has attended a minimum of 40 hours of core mediator
knowledge and skills training and, to remain in a qualified mediator
status, completes a minimum of 20 hours of additional training or education during each 2-year period. Such training or education must be approved by the USDA, by an accredited college or university, or by one of the following organizations: State Bar of a qualifying State
, a State mediation association, a State approved mediation program, or a society of professionals in dispute resolution.
means a State with a State mediation program currently certified by FSA