Kansas Agricultural Mediation Services (KAMS) has been the officially certified agricultural mediation program for Kansas since 1988. KAMS is funded through a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant program and administered by K-State Research and Extension.
On June 16, 1988, the Kansas Agricultural Mediation Services (KAMS), as part of the Kansas State Board of Agriculture, was certified by USDA to operate the official agricultural loan mediation program in Kansas. In 1995 the Kansas Legislature transferred jurisdiction of KAMS to the Cooperative Extension Service and Kansas State University, now called K-State Research and Extension (KSRE), effective July 1, 1995. KSRE then applied for, received, and administered the state's agricultural loan mediation grant for FY 1996, and has continued to do so since that time.
KAMS is also an "approved mediation program" under Kansas law (K.S.A. 5-501 et seq.), having been so certified by the Office of Judicial Administration of the Kansas Supreme Court, Office of Dispute Resolution. KAMS was originally approved as such on February 4, 1997, and KAMS has been approved each year since that time. Being an "approved program" under Kansas law gives KAMS legal status to preserve and maintain confidentiality of mediation sessions and records (K.S.A. 5-512).
Kansas along with more than 30 agricultural states make up the Coalition of Agriculture Mediation Programs (CAMP).
Background of CAMP
In 1988 Congress authorized USDA to help develop and participate in Certified State Farm Mediation Programs under the USDA Farm Loan Mediation Program as part of the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987.
In 1992 Congress increased federal matching funds to 70 percent in support of state programs.
In 1994 Congress expanded the program under the USDA Reorganization Act, authorizing USDA to offer mediation as an option as part of the informal appeals process with respect to adverse decisions on USDA farm program issues.
Mediation programs assist agricultural producers, their creditors and various USDA agencies to address loan problems, USDA adverse decisions and other disputes. The programs do this in a confidential and non-adversarial setting outside the traditional legal process of foreclosure, bankruptcy, appeals and litigation.
Mission Statement of CAMP
The purpose of the Coalition of Agriculture Mediation Programs (CAMP) is to serve as a presence and voice for the use of mediation in rural disputes. CAMP serves as a clearinghouse and forum for sharing ideas; examining commonalties and differences; and for enhancing decisions about the conduct of rural mediation programs.