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Public Workshops

Agriculture and Antitrust Enforcement Issues in Our 21st Century Economy

Workshop Information

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) held five joint public workshops to explore competition issues affecting the agricultural sector in the 21st century and the appropriate role for antitrust and regulatory enforcement in that industry.

May, 2012

Report: Competition and Agriculture: Voices from the Workshops on Agriculture and Antitrust Enforcement in our 21st Century Economy and Thoughts on the Way Forward

This page provides information on:

Related pages:

For more information, contact Mark B. Tobey, Special Counsel for State Relations and Agriculture (agriculturalworkshops@usdoj.gov or 202-532-4763).

Updated: May 16, 2012


Overview of the Workshops

These were 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 were 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 real-world experience in the agricultural sector.

The workshops addressed the dynamics of competition in agriculture markets, including buyer power (monopsony) and vertical integration. They examined legal doctrines and jurisprudence, as well as current economic learning, and provided an opportunity for farmers, ranchers, consumer groups, processors, agribusiness, and other interested parties to provide examples of potentially anticompetitive conduct and to discuss any concerns about the application of the antitrust laws to the agricultural sectors. The workshops were transcribed and placed on the public record along with submissions and written comments received.


Dates, Locations, and Topics

March 12,
2010

Ankeny, Iowa
Issues of Concern to Farmers
Introduction to the workshops series with a focus on the issues facing crop farmers. Discussion topics included seed technology, vertical integration, market transparency, and buyer power.

FFA Enrichment Center
1055 Southwest Prairie Trail Parkway
Ankeny, Iowa 50023

Agenda for the Iowa Workshop
Transcript of the Iowa Workshop (PDF, Text)
Video of the Iowa Workshop (Requires Flash)

May 21,
2010

Normal, Alabama
Poultry Industry
Specific areas of focus included production contracts in the poultry industry, concentration, and buyer power.

Alabama A&M University
Knight Reception Center
4900 Meridian Street
Normal, Alabama 35726

Agenda for the Alabama Workshop
Transcript of the Alabama Workshop (PDF, Text)
Video of the Alabama Workshop (Requires Flash)

June 25,
2010

Madison, Wisconsin
Dairy Industry
Specific areas of focus included concentration, marketplace transparency, and market dynamics in the dairy industry.

University of Wisconsin
Union Theater in Memorial Union
800 Langdon Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53706

Agenda for the Wisconsin Workshop
Transcript of the Wisconsin Workshop (PDF, Text)
Video of the Wisconsin Workshop (Requires Flash)

August 27,
2010

Fort Collins, Colorado
Livestock Industry
This workshop addressed beef, hog, and other animal sectors. Topics of discussion included concentration in livestock markets, buyer power, and enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act.

Colorado State University
Lory Student Center, Main Ballroom
1101 Centre Avenue Mall
Fort Collins, Colorado, 80523

Agenda for the Colorado Workshop
Transcript of the Colorado Workshop (PDF, Text)
Video of the Colorado Workshop (Requires Flash)

December 8,
2010

Washington, D.C.
Margins
This workshop looked at the discrepancies between the prices received by farmers and the prices paid by consumers. As a concluding event, discussions from previous workshops were incorporated into the analysis of agriculture markets nationally.

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Jefferson Auditorium
1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20250

Agenda for the D.C. Workshop
Transcript of the D.C. Workshop (PDF, Text)
Video of the D.C. Workshop (Requires Flash)


Federal Register Notice

Agriculture and Antitrust Enforcement Issues in Our 21st Century Economy [74 FR 43725 (08/27/2009)]
(HTML, PDF)


Public Comments

The Antitrust Division and the Department of Agriculture issued a call for public comments when they announced their plan to hold a number of workshops on competition issues in agriculture. Over 15,000 comments from farmers, consumers, academics, elected officials, and industry organizations were submitted.

All comments:

Initial comments:

Searching for Text in Comments

Search for text in comments:


Submitting Comments

The deadline for submitting public comments was December 31, 2009.

The Department of Justice and the Department of Agriculture continue to welcome comments from the public throughout these workshops. Comments received after the deadline may not be posted online, but will be considered by DOJ and USDA as part of the ongoing dialogue. Any interested person may submit written comments responsive to any of the topics addressed in the Federal Register Notice and the workshops.

Written comments submitted after the deadline should be e-mailed to agriculturalworkshops@usdoj.gov and include “Comment” in the subject line. Electronic submissions must include the original source file (Word, WordPerfect, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.). Submissions in PDF only format will not be accepted.

Note: The size of an e-mail to the Antitrust Division, including all attachments, cannot exceed 10 MB. Accordingly, electronic documents that are voluminous should be submitted to the Antitrust Division using appropriate media (such as CD) to:

Legal Policy Section
Antitrust Division
U.S. Department of Justice
450 5th Street, NW, Suite 11700
Washington, DC 20001

Privacy and confidentiality: Written submissions and the identity of the submitter may be disclosed, reproduced, and distributed by publication and/or posting on the Department of Justice Web site, at the discretion of the Department of Justice. Information that is submitted in connection with this workshop cannot be maintained as confidential by the Department of Justice. Written submissions should not include any information that the submitting person seeks to preserve as confidential.

Contact for submissions: For more information on making submissions, contact the Antitrust Division by e-mail at agriculturalworkshops@usdoj.gov.

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