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U.S. Department of Justice Seal and Letterhead
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 10, 2010
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(202) 514-2007
TDD (202) 514-1888

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND USDA ANNOUNCE UPDATED SCHEDULE FOR AGRICULTURE WORKSHOP ON MARCH 12 IN IOWA

Initial Workshop to be Held in Ankeny, Iowa, at FFA Enrichment Center at Des Moines Area Community College

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today an updated schedule and panelists for the first joint public workshop, which will be held on March 12, 2010, in Ankeny, Iowa, to explore competition and regulatory issues in the agriculture industry. The workshop will be held at the FFA Enrichment Center at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC).

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 initial workshop should register at https://go.dmacc.edu/ffa/agworkshop.

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 workshop and will be joined by Iowa Lt. Gov. Patty Judge, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey. They will participate in a roundtable discussion with presentations on current issues affecting farmers. Testimony and roundtable discussion by a panel of farmers will follow. The workshop will also feature two panels focusing on the competitive dynamics in the seed industry and trends in contracting, transparency and buyer power. The first day of the workshops will end with an enforcer roundtable and public testimony.

The workshop schedule follows:

Opening Remarks (9:30 a.m. CST - 9:45 a.m. CST)

Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture Eric Holder, Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice

Roundtable Discussion and Presentation of Issues (9:45 a.m. CST - 10:45 a.m. CST)

Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture Eric Holder, Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice

Christine Varney, Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, U.S. Department of Justice

Patty Judge, Lt. Governor, State of Iowa 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 :

Bruce Braley, Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives Steve King, Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives Tom Latham, Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives Dave Loebsack, Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives

Coffee Break (10:45 a.m. CST - 11:15 a.m. CST)

Farmer Testimony and Roundtable Discussion (11:15 a.m. CST - 12:15 p.m. CST)

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

Ken Fawcett, independent crop farmer, Eastern Iowa Jim Foster, hog producer, Montgomery City, Missouri Pam Johnson, farmer, Floyd, Iowa Eric Nelson, grain and cattle farmer, Moville, Iowa Todd Wiley, hog producer, Walker, Iowa Eddie Wise, hog and produce farmer, Whitakers, North Carolina

Lunch (12:15 p.m. CST - 1:15 p.m. CST)

Seed Competitive Dynamics Panel (1:15 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

Coffee Break (3:15 p.m. CST - 3:30 p.m. CST)

Enforcer Roundtable Discussion Panel (3:30 p.m. CST - 4:30 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 Chris Koster, Attorney General, State of Missouri 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 (4:30 p.m. CST - 5:30 p.m. CST)

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

Closing Remarks (5:30 p.m. CST)

Phil Weiser, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice John Ferrell, Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Additional updates and information will be posted on the Antitrust Division's agriculture workshop Web site at http://www.justice.gov/atr/public/workshops/ag2010/index.htm. While no streaming Web cast will be available, transcripts will be available for review at a later date on the Antitrust Division's Web site. Individuals seeking more information on the workshops should contact agriculturalworkshops@usdoj.gov.

Media who wish to attend the workshop may begin arriving at 8:00 a.m. CST and cameras must be pre-set by 9:00 a.m. CST. Press inquiries regarding logistics at the FFA Enrichment Center at DMACC should be directed to Todd Jones at (office) 515-964-6242 or (cell) 515-238-8242.

Press Contacts:

U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
Gina Talamona
202-514-2007
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of Communications
Jim Brownlee
202-720-4623

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