Goehring names Abrams mediation administrator

BISMARCK – Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has appointed Bethany Abrams, Dickinson, as administrator of the North Dakota Mediation Service (NDMS).

“Ms. Abrams' legal background and experience in dispute resolution make her an ideal candidate for this position,” Goehring said. “The work of the Mediation Service has greatly expanded in recent years to include property issues related to oil development and wetlands mitigation, and she has skills to take the program to a new level.”

A Denver native, Abrams graduated from Dickinson High School and from the University of Central Oklahoma before earning a law degree from the University of Minnesota. She worked for Minnesota District Judge Mark Wernick before opening a private practice in Minneapolis, specializing in domestic disputes and conflict resolution.

Returning to Dickinson, she joined the Mackoff Kellogg Law Firm, specializing in creditor rights, lending industry issues and domestic conflict resolution.

In her new position, Abrams will provide mediation, arbitration and negotiation services, supervise a staff of three, train and assist mediators and negotiators, manage outside contractors and prepare and manage the program budget. She will report to Dane Braun, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) policy and mediation coordinator.

A program of NDDA, the North Dakota Mediation Ser­vice (formerly the North Dakota Agricultural Mediation Service), was established in 1984 to help financially distressed farmers and ranch­ers through assistance with credit and financial matters and resolving disputes, especially with creditors and federal agencies.

The 2011 Legislature expanded the agency's responsibilities to include dispute resolution of property issues related to energy development and landowner disputes with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department related to damage caused by deer on winter livestock feed supplies.

North Dakota Mediation Service policies are established by the North Dakota Credit Review Board.