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Public Workshops

Agriculture and Antitrust Enforcement Issues in Our 21st Century Economy

December 8, 2010 - Washington, D.C.

Margins
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.

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

Updated: January 10, 2011


Agenda

Transcript (PDF, Text)
Video (Requires Flash)

8:30 a.m. EST

Opening Remarks
(19:48-minute video)

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

   
8:45 a.m.

Panel I - Industry Dynamics from Farm to Consumers
(75:55-minute video)

Panelists will offer their perspective on supply chain issues that impact producers, processors, retailers and consumers.

Moderators:
Eric Holder, Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice
Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Christine Varney, Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice

Panelists:
Ben Burkett, Producer and Local Distributor, Mississippi Association of Cooperatives
Barry Carpenter, Chief Executive Officer, National Meat Association
Erik Lieberman, Regulatory Counsel, Food Marketing Institute
Vaughn Meyer, Cattle Producer, South Dakota
Dan Vincent, President and Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Coast Producers
Christopher Waldrop, Director, Food Policy Institute, Consumer Federation of America

   
10:00 a.m.

Coffee Break

   
10:30 a.m.

Panel II - Margins in the Dairy Industry
(54:50-minute video)

This panel will discuss the various levels of the dairy supply chain, offering explanations for recent trends and the effects of these trends.

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

Panelists:
Eunice Biel, Dairy Producer, Minnesota
David DeSantis, Enforcement Director, Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board
Buster Goff, Dairy Producer, New Mexico
Rigoberto Lopez, Professor of Economics, University of Connecticut
Chuck Nicholson, Professor of Agribusiness, California Polytechnic State University

   
11:30 a.m.

Public Testimony
(53:38-minute video)

   
12:30 p.m.

Lunch

   
1:15 p.m.

Panel III Issues in Food Retailing
(94:10-minute video)

This panel will examine retailing sector trends and incentives relating to supply arrangements, product placement and consumer choice, and possible explanations on how they have occurred and the impact on all levels of the supply chain.

Moderator:
Sharis Arnold Pozen, Chief of Staff, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice

Panelists:
Albert A. Foer, President, American Antitrust Institute
Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Watch
Mary Hendrickson, Extension Associate Professor of Rural Sociology, University of Missouri
Erik Lieberman, Regulatory Counsel, Food Marketing Institute
Howard Shelanski, Deputy Director for Antitrust, Bureau of Economics, Federal Trade Commission
Kyle Stiegert, Professor of Economics, University of Wisconsin
Alvin Vincent, Jr., Region 2 Director, United Food & Commercial Workers International Union
Tom Wenning, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, National Grocers Association
Bob Young, Chief Economist, American Farm Bureau Federation

   
2:45 p.m.

Break

   
3:00 p.m.

Panel IV - Margins in the Livestock and Poultry Industries
(62:31-minute video)

This panel will look at trends in the beef, pork and poultry industries. Panelists will discuss the division of the retail dollar, possible explanations for changes and the margins in which the market participants operate in general.

Moderator:
James MacDonald, Chief, Agricultural Structure and Productivity Branch, Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Panelists:
John Crespi, Professor of Economics, Kansas State University
Allen Lund, Cattle Producer, North Dakota
Valerie Ruddle, Poultry Grower, West Virginia
C. Robert Taylor, Professor of Economics, Auburn University
Eugene Versteeg, Pork Producer, Iowa
Michael Wohlgenant, Professor of Economics, North Carolina State University

   
4:00 p.m.

Introduction of Public Testimony and Concluding Remarks
(10:24-minute video)

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

   
4:05 p.m.

Public Testimony
(54:21-minute video)

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