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93.50(1)(g) (g) "Procurement contract" has the meaning given for "vegetable procurement contract" in s. 126.55 (15).
93.50(2) (2)Mediators and arbitrators.
93.50(2)(a)(a) Selection of mediators. The department shall select as mediators persons who have the character and ability to serve as mediators and who have knowledge of financial or agricultural matters or of mediation processes. The department shall ensure that each mediator receives sufficient training in mediation processes, resolving conflicts, farm credit and other subjects to develop or maintain the skills necessary to perform his or her functions under this section.
93.50(2)(am) (am) Selection of arbitrators. The department shall select as arbitrators persons who have the character and ability to serve as arbitrators and who have knowledge of arbitration or other conflict resolution processes. The department may provide training in arbitration processes, resolving conflicts or agricultural issues as part of process of selecting arbitrators or to arbitrators selected by the department to enable arbitrators to maintain the skills necessary to perform their functions under this section.
93.50(2)(b) (b) Compensation of mediators and arbitrators. Mediators and arbitrators shall be compensated for travel and other necessary expenses in amounts approved by the department.
93.50(2)(c) (c) Immunity of mediators and arbitrators. Mediators and arbitrators are immune from civil liability for any act or omission within the scope of their performance of their powers and duties under this section.
93.50(2)(d) (d) Forms and publicity. The department shall prepare all forms necessary for the administration of this section and shall ensure that forms are disseminated and that the availability of mediation and arbitration under this section is publicized.
93.50(2)(e) (e) Exclusion from open records law. All mediators and arbitrators shall keep confidential all information and records obtained in conducting mediation and arbitration. The department shall keep confidential all information and records that may serve to identify any party to mediation and arbitration under this section. Any information required to be kept confidential under this paragraph may be disclosed if the department and the parties agree to disclosure.
93.50(2)(f) (f) Rule making. The department may promulgate rules necessary to implement this section. The department may promulgate rules defining owners and creditors of agriculturally related businesses and permitting owners and creditors of such businesses to participate in mediation and arbitration subject to the same terms and conditions applicable to farmers and creditors under this section.
93.50(2m) (2m)Suspension of court action to allow for voluntary mediation or arbitration.
93.50(2m)(a)(a) During the pendency of any action, the court may, upon the written stipulation of all parties to the action that they wish to engage in mediation or arbitration under this section, enter an order suspending the action.
93.50(2m)(b) (b) A suspension order under par. (a) suspends all orders and proceedings for the time period specified in the suspension order. In specifying the time period, the court shall exercise its discretion for the purpose of permitting the parties to engage in mediation or arbitration without prejudice to the rights of any person. The suspension order may include such other terms and conditions as the court may deem appropriate. The suspension order may be revoked upon motion of any person or upon motion of the court.
93.50(2m)(c) (c) If all parties to the action agree, by written stipulation, that all issues before the court are resolved by mediation or arbitration under this section, the court shall dismiss the action.
93.50(2m)(d) (d) If the parties do not agree under par. (c) or if the court revokes the suspension order under par. (b), the action shall proceed as if no mediation or arbitration had been attempted.
93.50(3) (3)Mediation process.
93.50(3)(a)(a) Participation in mediation. A farmer or a person having a dispute with a farmer who wishes to resolve a dispute between them, either before an action has been initiated to which they are parties or after entry of a suspension order in an action to which they are parties under sub. (2m), may participate in mediation under this section in accordance with this subsection if the dispute is of a kind specified in par. (am).
93.50(3)(am) (am) Disputes that may be mediated. The following kinds of disputes may be mediated under this section:
93.50(3)(am)1. 1. A dispute between a farmer and a creditor involving the farmer's agricultural property and the creditor's claim affecting the agricultural property.
93.50(3)(am)2. 2. A dispute over a procurement contract.
93.50(3)(am)3. 3. A dispute over a livestock feeding contract.
93.50(3)(am)4. 4. A dispute in which one party alleges that an action by, or condition of the property of, the other party is a nuisance.
93.50(3)(am)5. 5. A dispute involving air, water or soil contamination or other environmental issues.
93.50(3)(am)6. 6. A kind of dispute specified as eligible for mediation by the department by rule.
93.50(3)(am)7. 7. A dispute that is not specified under subds. 1. to 6. if all of the parties to the dispute request mediation of the dispute.
93.50(3)(b) (b) Request for mediation; agreement to mediate. To participate in mediation, the farmer or other party to a dispute described in par. (am) shall submit a request for mediation to the department on forms prepared by the department. The department may not proceed under this section until the farmer and the other party have submitted an agreement to mediate.
93.50(3)(e) (e) Selection of mediator. If the department has obtained the agreement under par. (b), the farmer and the other party may request the department to provide the names, mailing addresses and qualifications of up to 3 mediators located in the geographical area in which the agricultural property or farmer is located. The parties shall select a mediator or, upon request of the parties, the department shall designate a mediator for the parties.
93.50(3)(f) (f) Mediation. The function of the mediator is to encourage a voluntary settlement among the parties. The mediator may not compel a settlement. The mediator shall schedule meetings of the parties, direct the parties to prepare for the meetings, attempt to achieve a mediated resolution to the issues among the parties and, if the parties request, assist the parties in preparing a written agreement. All mediation meetings shall be held in this state and be conducted under the laws of this state.
93.50(3)(g) (g) Effect of mediation. The parties may at any time withdraw from mediation. The parties have full responsibility for reaching and enforcing any agreement among them. A mediation agreement may include an agreement for the payment of property taxes, special assessments that have been settled in full by the county under s. 74.29, special charges or special taxes assessed against agricultural property that are subject to a tax certificate issued under s. 74.57 in installments, as long as the agreement is not inconsistent with county board policy. After the expiration of the time period specified in the suspension order under sub. (2m), the parties may no longer participate in the mediation process regarding the same subject matter under this section unless the parties and the mediator agree to continue the mediation.
93.50(4) (4)Arbitration process.
93.50(4)(a)(a) Disputes for arbitration. A party to a procurement contract that contains an agreement to submit contract disputes to arbitration wishing to resolve a dispute over the procurement contract or a farmer or creditor wishing to resolve a dispute between them involving the farmer's agricultural property and the creditor's interest in a mortgage, land contract, lien, security interest or judgment affecting the agricultural property, either before an action has been initiated to which they are parties or after entry of a suspension order in an action to which they are parties under sub. (2m), may participate in arbitration under this section in accordance with this subsection and subject to ch. 788.
93.50(4)(b) (b) Request for arbitration; agreement to arbitrate. To participate in arbitration, the farmer and other party under par. (a) shall submit a request for arbitration to the department on a form prepared by the department. After receipt of the request, if the parties wish to proceed to arbitration under this subsection, the department shall require the parties to enter into an agreement to binding arbitration on a form prepared by the department.
93.50(4)(e) (e) Selection of arbitrator. After the department has obtained the agreement under par. (b), the farmer and the other party may request the department to provide the names, mailing addresses and qualifications of up to 3 arbitrators located in the geographical area in which the agricultural property or farmer is located. The parties shall select an arbitrator or, upon request of the parties, the department shall designate an arbitrator for the parties.
93.50(5) (5)Other creditors; no delay. With respect to mediation or arbitration between parties before an action has been initiated to which they are parties, no agreement to mediate or to arbitrate, or the fact that mediation or arbitration is currently occurring, may have the effect of delaying, postponing or extending any time limits in any legal proceeding commenced to enforce a mortgage, land contract, lien, security interest or judgment commenced by a creditor other than the creditor or creditors participating in the mediation or arbitration.
93.50 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also s. ATCP 162.01, Wis. adm. code.
93.51 93.51 Farmer assistance.
93.51(1)(1) Definitions. In this section:
93.51(1)(a) (a) "Farmer" has the meaning given in s. 93.50 (1) (d).
93.51(1)(b) (b) "Farming" has the meaning given in s. 102.04 (3).
93.51(2) (2)Assistance program.
93.51(2)(a)(a) The department may provide consultation and assistance to distressed farmers, which may include but is not limited to providing employment and retraining counseling for farmers needing employment other than farming, operating a program in which volunteers advise or counsel farmers about financial matters and other concerns and operating a crisis hotline for farmers.
93.51(2)(b) (b) The department may make grants to low-income farmers for the purpose of paying all or part of the tuition for a farmer who enrolls in a course on farm and business management techniques offered by a technical college.
93.51(2)(c) (c) The department may promulgate rules necessary to implement this section.
93.51(3) (3)Advisors.
93.51(3)(a)(a) The department may select volunteers to provide advice and counseling services to distressed farmers. Advisors shall have expertise and experience in relevant areas of knowledge.
93.51(3)(b) (b) The department shall provide any necessary training to advisors.
93.51(3)(c) (c) Advisors shall be compensated for travel and other necessary expenses in amounts approved by the department.
93.51(3)(d) (d) Advisors and the department shall keep confidential all information obtained in the process of providing advice or counseling. Any such information contained in a record is not subject to the right of public inspection and copying under s. 19.35 (1). This paragraph does not apply to information relating to possible criminal misconduct.
93.51 History History: 1989 a. 31; 1991 a. 39; 1993 a. 399; 1997 a. 264.
93.52 93.52 Dairy farmer exit-entry program. The department shall administer a program to assist in the transfer of farm operations from persons exiting the dairy industry to persons wishing to enter the industry, including assistance in negotiating the financial and legal aspects of farm transfers. The department shall keep confidential information obtained under the program. Any such information contained in a record is not subject to the right of public inspection and copying under s. 19.35 (1).
93.52 History History: 1997 a. 264.
93.53 93.53 Beginning farmer and farm asset owner tax credit eligibility.
93.53(1)(1) Definitions. In this section:
93.53(1)(a) (a) "Agricultural asset" means machinery, equipment, facilities, or livestock that is used in farming.
93.53(1)(b) (b) "Beginning farmer" means an individual who meets the conditions specified in sub. (2).
93.53(1)(c) (c) "Educational institution" means the Wisconsin Technical College System, the University of Wisconsin-Extension, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, or any other institution that is approved by the department under sub. (6) (a).
93.53(1)(d) (d) "Established farmer" means a person who meets the conditions specified in sub. (3).
93.53(1)(e) (e) "Farming" has the meaning given in section 464 (e) (1) of the Internal Revenue Code.
93.53(1)(f) (f) "Financial management program" means a course in farm financial management that is offered by an educational institution.
93.53(2) (2)Beginning farmer. An individual is a beginning farmer for the purposes of s. 71.07 (8r), 71.28 (8r), or 71.47 (8r) if, at the time that the individual submits an application under sub. (4), all of the following apply:
93.53(2)(a) (a) The individual has a net worth of less than $200,000.
93.53(2)(b) (b) The individual has farmed for fewer than 10 years out of the preceding 15 years.
93.53(2)(c) (c) The individual has entered into a lease for a term of at least 3 years with an established farmer for the use of the established farmer's agricultural assets by the beginning farmer.
93.53(2)(d) (d) The individual uses the leased agricultural assets for farming.
93.53(3) (3)Established farmer. A person is an established farmer for the purposes of s. 71.07 (8r), 71.28 (8r), or 71.47 (8r) if, at the time that the person submits an application under sub. (4), all of the following apply:
93.53(3)(a) (a) The person has engaged in farming for a total of at least 10 years.
93.53(3)(b) (b) The person owns agricultural assets.
93.53(3)(c) (c) The person has entered into a lease for a term of at least 3 years with a beginning farmer for the use of the person's agricultural assets by the beginning farmer.
93.53(4) (4)Applications.
93.53(4)(a)(a) In order for an experienced farmer to claim the farm asset owner tax credit under s. 71.07 (8r) (b) 2., 71.28 (8r), or 71.47 (8r), the experienced farmer and the beginning farmer who is leasing agricultural assets from the experienced farmer shall each submit an application to the department.
93.53(4)(b) (b) An established farmer shall include in the application under this subsection the established farmer's name and address, information showing that the established farmer satisfies the conditions in specified in sub. (3), a description of the leased agricultural assets and their location, a copy of the lease, and any other information required by the department.
93.53(4)(c) (c) A beginning farmer shall include all of the following in an application under this subsection:
93.53(4)(c)1. 1. The beginning farmer's name and address.
93.53(4)(c)2. 2. Information showing that the beginning farmer satisfies the conditions in sub. (2).
93.53(4)(c)3. 3. A business plan that includes a current balance sheet and projected balance sheets for 3 years, cash flow statements, and income statements along with a detailed description of all significant accounting assumptions used in developing the financial projections.
93.53(4)(c)4. 4. A description of the beginning farmer's education, training, and experience in the type of farming in which the beginning farmer uses the leased agricultural assets.
93.53(4)(c)5. 5. A copy of the beginning farmer's completed federal profit or loss from farming form, schedule F, or other documentation approved by the department under sub. (6).
93.53(4)(c)6. 6. Any other information required by the department.
93.53(4)(d) (d) If a beginning farmer wishes to claim the beginning farmer educational credit under s. 71.07 (8r) (b) 1., the beginning farmer shall also include in the application under this subsection a description of the financial management program completed by the beginning farmer and a statement of the amount that the beginning farmer paid the educational institution to enroll in the financial management program.
93.53(5) (5)Evaluation and certification.
93.53(5)(a)(a) The department shall review applications submitted under sub. (4) (a).
93.53(5)(b) (b) The department shall provide an established farmer with a certificate of eligibility for the farm asset owner tax credit under s. 71.07 (8r) (b) 2., 71.28 (8r), or 71.47 (8r) if all of the following apply:
93.53(5)(b)1. 1. The established farmer's application complies with sub. (4) (b).
93.53(5)(b)2. 2. The beginning farmer's application complies with sub. (4) (c).
93.53(5)(b)3. 3. The department determines that the business plan submitted under sub. (4) (c) 3. and the education, training, or experience described under sub. (4) (c) 4. show that the beginning farmer has sufficient resources and education, training, or experience for the type of farming in which the beginning farmer uses the leased agricultural assets.
93.53(5)(c) (c) The department shall provide a beginning farmer with a certificate of eligibility for the beginning farmer educational credit under s. 71.07 (8r) (b) 1. if the department has issued a certificate of eligibility under par. (b) for the experienced farmer from whom the beginning farmer leases farm assets and the information provided under sub. (4) (d) shows that the beginning farmer has completed a financial management program.
93.53(6) (6)Department authority.
93.53(6)(a)(a) The department may approve providers of courses in farm financial management for the purposes of the beginning farmer educational credit under s. 71.07 (8r) (b) 1.
93.53(6)(b) (b) The department may approve alternative documentation for the purposes of sub. (4) (c) 5.
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated though 2013 Wis. Act 200 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before April 11, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after April 11, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 4-11-14)