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Justice Dept, USDA Announce Future Workshops

by 5m Editor
27 April 2010, at 7:58a.m.

US - The Department of Justice and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) have announced details regarding a public workshop that will be held on 21 May at Alabama A&M University in Normal, Alabama, to explore competition and regulatory issues in the poultry industry. Dates have been set for future workshops for the dairy and livestock industries, and on farmers' margins.

The focus of the workshop will be consolidation and contracting practices of the poultry sector. The first joint public workshop was held last month in Ankeny, Iowa.

The workshops, which were first announced by Attorney General Eric Holder and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on 5 August 2009, are the first joint Department of Justice/USDA workshops ever to be held to discuss competition and regulatory issues in the agriculture industry. 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. Attendance at the workshops is free and open to the public.

For those interested in attending the Alabama workshop, click here.

US Attorney General Eric Holder, US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Antitrust Division Christine Varney will participate in the Alabama workshop.

Additionally, USDA and the Department of Justice are adjusting two previously announced dates for the Madison, Wis., and Fort Collins, Colo., workshops. The current schedule for the workshops is as follows:

  • 21 May 2010: Poultry Industry (Normal, Alabama)
    Specific areas of focus may include production contracts in the poultry industry, concentration and buyer power.
    Alabama A&M University, Knight Reception Center, 4900 Meridian St., Normal, Alabama

  • 25 June 2010: Dairy Industry (Madison, Wisconsin)
    Specific areas of focus may include concentration, marketplace transparency and market dynamics in the dairy industry.
    University of Wisconsin, Union Theater in Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St., Madison, Wisconsin.

  • 27 August 2010: Livestock Industry (Fort Collins, Colorado)
    This workshop will address beef, hog and other animal sectors. Likely issues for discussion are concentration in livestock markets, buyer power and enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act.
    Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.

  • 8 December 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.
    US Department of Agriculture, Jefferson Auditorium, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W. Washington, D.C.