Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Agriculture March 12 Iowa Panelists Announced

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

The press release is here.

Opening Remarks (9:00 a.m. CST - 9:15 a.m. CST)

Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Christine Varney, Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, U.S. Department of Justice

Roundtable Discussion and Presentation of Issues (9:15 a.m. CST - 11:30 a.m. CST)

Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Christine Varney, Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, U.S. Department of Justice
Tom Miller, Attorney General, State of Iowa
Bill Northey, Secretary of Agriculture, State of Iowa
Tom Harkin, Senator, U.S. Senate (tentative)
Chuck Grassley, Senator, U.S. Senate (tentative)
Leonard Boswell, Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives (tentative)

Invited:

Chet Culver, Governor, State of Iowa

A farmer roundtable discussion and testimony will also be given at this time. Farmer panelists will be posted on the Web site at a later date.

Seed Competitive Dynamics Panel (1:00 p.m. CST - 2:15 p.m. CST)

Moderator:
James MacDonald, Chief, Agricultural Structure and Productivity Branch, Economic
Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Panelists:
Ray Gaesser,Soybean and Corn Farmer, Corning, Iowa; Vice President, American Soybean Association; Former President, Iowa Soybean Association
Neil E. Harl,Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and Emeritus Professor of Economics, Iowa State University; Member of the Iowa Bar
Dermot Hayes, Professor of Economics and Finance, Pioneer Chair in Agribusiness, Iowa State University
Diana Moss, Vice President & Senior Fellow, American Antitrust Institute
Jim Tobin, Vice President, Industry Affairs, Monsanto Company

Agricultural Trends Panel (2:15 p.m. CST - 3:15 p.m. CST)

Moderator:
Phil Weiser, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice

Panelists:
Brian Buhr, Professor and Head of Department, Applied Economics, University of Minnesota
Rachael Goodhue, Associate Professor, Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics, University of California, Davis
Mary Hendrickson,Extension Associate Professor of Rural Sociology, University of Missouri
John Lawrence, Professor of Economics, Iowa State University
Chuck Wirtz, pork producer, Whittemore, Iowa
Patrick Woodall, Research Director, Food & Water Watch

Enforcer Roundtable Discussion Panel (3:30 p.m. CST - 4:15 p.m. CST)

Moderator:
Mark Tobey, Special Counsel for State Relations and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Justice

Panelists:
Steve Bullock, Attorney General, State of Montana
Richard Cordray, Attorney General, State of Ohio
John Ferrell, Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Stephen Obie, Director, Division of Enforcement, Commodity Futures Trading Commission
William Stallings, Assistant Section Chief, Transportation, Energy and Agriculture Section, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice

Public Testimony (4:15 p.m. CST - 5:15 p.m. CST)

This is an opportunity for those in the audience to make comments in an open forum.


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Comments

I'm new here.

My question for anyone who can answer it is what exactly is this event? It looks like a bunch of politicians followed by a scategorical bunch of panelists. Only one appears to have antitrust credentials. She is from the American Antitrust Institute, which just strikes me as a cheerleader for the administration that is putting on this strange program.

What is the outcome (other that a lot of political speech)? An investigation or lawsuit?

It's understandable that people from regulated industries and some farmers might be included on the panels, but a sociologist? An environmentalist? Both noble professions, but if this is about antitrust in agriculture, you wouldn't put a podiatrist or a plumber on the panel.

I am terrible confused and not a little suspicious that this is really a political exercise. I mean doesn't DOJ have all the statutory authority it needs to investigate and file lawsuits when it finds anticompetitive business practices? So is this for political cover or an attempt to win back the heart land for the administration? Midwestern agriculturalists can't be excited about this can they?

The only thing that would make this more bizarre is if they sent Eric Holder himself to this dog and pony show.

Am I alone in thinking this is the most politically contrived thing ever?

Posted by: Alana | Feb 24, 2010 7:27:33 PM

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