USDA Press Release No. 0209.10
Contact: Office of Communications (202 720-4623
Workshop to be Held at Alabama A&M University in Normal
WASHINGTON, April 26, 2010 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Justice today announced additional details regarding the public workshop that will be held on May 21 at Alabama A&M University in Normal, Ala., to explore competition and regulatory issues in the agriculture industry. 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 Aug. 5, 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. The general public and media interested in attending the Alabama workshop should register at http://www.aamu.edu/saes/FAS/DOJ_USDA/ .
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, U.S. 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:
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; Knight Reception Center, 4900 Meridian St., Normal, Ala.
June 25, 2010: Dairy Industry (Madison, Wis.)
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, Wis.
Aug. 27, 2010: Livestock Industry (Fort Collins, Colo.)
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, 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.