Date of Award
Master of Science
Mediation of disputes in all arenas has proven to be faster, more efficient and less expensive than adversarial processes, and it is widely believed that they lead to longer-lasting and more satisfying solutions. The purpose of this study was to analyze the data gathered by the Illinois Agricultural Mediation Program (IAMP) in the form of feedback from farmers and USDA agents involved in mediation of adverse decisions made by USDA. Data were organized by type of statistical method to be used for analysis and by type of participant (Farmer, USDA agent) in the mediation process, and by independent variables which may be associated with farmer satisfaction with mediation. Descriptive statistics of count and percentages, and logistic regression were used for these analyses. The results of the statistical tests revealed that the farmers and USDA agents were generally positive in their rating of the mediation process. Even though the mediation process did not frequently result in a change of the original decision, the farmers reported that they better understood USDA rules, regulations and policies.
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