Sunday, November 15, 2009
Justice Department and USDA Set Dates for Workshops to Explore Competition and Regulatory Issues in The Agriculture Industry
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
According to the DOJ press release:
The goals of the workshops are to promote dialogue among interested parties and foster learning with respect to the appropriate legal and economic analyses of these issues, as well as to listen to and learn from parties with experience in the agriculture sector.
The current schedule for the workshops is as follows:
March 12, 2010 – Issues of Concern to Farmers – Ankeny, Iowa
This event will serve as an introduction to the series of workshops,
but also will focus specifically on issues facing crop farmers. Specific
areas of focus may include seed technology, vertical integration,
market transparency and buyer power.
FFA Enrichment Center
1055 Southwest Prairie Trail Parkway
May 21, 2010 – Poultry Industry – Normal, Ala.
Specific areas of focus may include production contracts in the poultry
industry, concentration and buyer power.
Alabama A&M University
Auditorium, James I. Dawson Cooperative Extension Building
4900 Meridian St.
June 7, 2010 – Dairy Industry – Madison, Wisc.
Specific areas of focus may include concentration, marketplace transparency
and vertical integration in the dairy industry.
University of Wisconsin
Great Hall, Memorial Union
800 Langdon St.
Aug. 26, 2010 – Livestock Industry – Fort Collins, Colo.
Specific areas of focus will address beef, hog and other animal sectors
and may include enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act and
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colo.
Dec. 8, 2010 – Margins – Washington, D.C.
This workshop will look at the discrepancies between the prices received
by farmers and the prices paid by consumers. As a concluding event,
discussions from previous workshops will be incorporated into the
analysis of agriculture markets nationally.
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., S.W.
Each workshop may feature keynote speakers, general expert panels, and break-out panels that will address more narrowly-focused issues. At each workshop, the public will have an opportunity to ask questions and provide comments.
The attendance and participation of the public is encouraged throughout the series of workshops. With the goals of generating further dialogue and understanding the issues, the workshops will involve farmers, ranchers, processors, consumer groups, agribusinesses, government officials and academics. This collection of stakeholders will create a forum for discussion and will ensure various industry perspectives.
The Department of Justice and USDA are also asking for comments in advance of the workshops. Interested parties should submit written comments in both paper and electronic form to the Department of Justice no later than Dec. 31, 2009. All comments received will be publicly posted. Two paper copies should be addressed to the Legal Policy Section, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 450 5th Street, NW, Suite 11700, Washington, D.C. 20001. The electronic version of each comment should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional updates and information, including agendas and speakers, will be posted on the Antitrust Division's events website at www.usdoj.gov/atr/events.htm.