The U.S. Department of Justice seal, The United States Department of Justice
Search Antitrust
 

Public Workshops

Agriculture and Antitrust Enforcement Issues in Our 21st Century Economy

March 12, 2010 - Ankeny, Iowa

Issues of Concern to Farmers
A Dialogue on Competition Issues Facing Farmers in Today's Agricultural Marketplaces Des Moines Area Community College, Ankeny, Iowa

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

Updated: April 23, 2010


Agenda

Transcript (PDF, Text)
Video (Requires Flash)

9:30 a.m. CST

Opening Remarks
(16:43-minute video)

The Honorable Eric Holder, Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice [Prepared Remarks]
The Honorable Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture

   
9:45 a.m.

Keynote Roundtable Discussion
(56:51-minute video)

The Honorable Eric Holder, Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice
The Honorable Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture
The Honorable Christine A. Varney, Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, U.S. Department of Justice [Prepared Remarks]
The Honorable Patty Judge, Lieutenant Governor, State of Iowa
The Honorable Tom Miller, Attorney General, State of Iowa
The Honorable Bill Northey, Secretary of Agriculture, State of Iowa

Tentative:
The Honorable Tom Harkin, Senator, United States Senate
The Honorable Chuck Grassley, Senator, United States Senate
The Honorable Leonard Boswell, Congressman, United State House of Representatives

Invited:
The Honorable Bruce Braley, Congressman, United States House of Representatives
The Honorable Steve A. King, Congressman, United States House of Representatives
The Honorable Tom Latham, Congressman, United State House of Representatives
The Honorable David Loebsack, Congressman, United States House of Representatives

   
10:45 a.m.

Coffee Break

   
11:15 a.m.

Farmer Presentation of Issues
(76:02-minute video)

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

Panelists:
Ken Fawcett, Independent Crop Farmer, Eastern Iowa
Jim Foster, Independent Hog Producer, Montgomery City, Missouri
Pam Johnson, Farmer, Floyd, Iowa
Eric Nelson, Grain & Cattle Farmer, Moville, Iowa
Todd Wiley, Independent Pork Producer, Walker, Iowa
Eddie Wise, Hog & Produce Farmer, Whitakers, North Carolina

   
12:15 p.m.

Lunch

   
1:15 p.m.

Panel I - Competitive Dynamics of the Seed Industry
(54:45-minute video)

How Have Technological Developments and Structural Changes Affected the Competitive Dynamics of the Seed Industry?
The past 20 years have evidenced significant shifts in the seed industry. For most major crops, farmers overwhelmingly have moved from using conventional seed varieties to seed with genetically-modified traits. We have also seen seed research, development, and marketing efforts moving from numerous and diverse entities such as universities, extension agencies, and independent seed companies toward major agriculture biotechnology firms. Moreover, patents covering certain commercially-valuable agriculture biotechnology traits will expire in the coming years, raising questions about how the marketplace will handle the approaching transition. This panel will explore the competitive implications for farmers of such developments in terms of seed price, choice, and innovation.

Moderator:
James MacDonald, Chief, Agricultural Structure and Productivity Branch, Economic Research Service

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

   
2:15 p.m.

Panel II - Trends in Agriculture
(61:23-minute video)

Trends Panel Exploring Contracting Issues, Marketplace Transparency and Buyer Power
This panel will explore several related topics including: the costs, benefits and prevalence of production and marketing contracts in grain crops and hogs; price transparency issues and the appropriate role for antitrust and regulatory enforcement; as well as issues surrounding concentration at the processor and retail levels and effects on farmers, discussing theories of competitive harm and appropriate policy responses.

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, Independent Pork Producer, Whittemore, Iowa
Patrick Woodall, Research Director, Food & Water Watch

   
3:15 p.m.

Break

   
3:30 p.m.

Panel III - Agriculture Enforcement
(63:16-minute video)

Perspectives and Cooperation at the Federal and State Levels
This panel will discuss the current roles of both federal and state governments in agriculture enforcement, as well as recent enforcement actions. The panelists will also reflect on many of the issues examined throughout the day.

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

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

   
4:30 p.m.

Public Testimony
(68:19-minute video)
This is an opportunity for those in the audience to make comments in an open forum.

   
5:30 p.m.

Concluding Remarks
(3:05-minute video)

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

Get Antitrust Division Updates

Sign up for E-Mail Updates

Subscribe to News Feeds

To view PDF files on this website you need the free Adobe Reader.