WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today additional details regarding the June 25 public workshop in Madison, Wis., which will examine competition and regulatory issues in the dairy industry. The workshop will be held in the Union Theater at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, 800 Langdon Street, Madison, Wis.
This is the third in a series of five joint public workshops. The first workshop was held in March in Ankeny, Iowa, with a focus on row crops and hogs. The second workshop focused on issues in the poultry industry and was held in Normal, Ala., last month.
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 Wisconsin workshop should register at www.surveymonkey.com/s/V3FHXPY.
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 a roundtable discussion to open the Wisconsin workshop. Senators Herb Kohl and Russell Feingold, Representatives Ron Kind, Steve Kagen and Tammy Baldwin, Governor Jim Doyle, and Wisconsin Agriculture Secretary Rod Nilsestuen have tentatively accepted invitations to join this roundtable discussion. Invitations have been extended to Representatives Thomas Petri and David Obey. The remaining panels will feature farmers, processors, academics and other dairy industry stakeholders. Additional details on the schedule and panelists will be provided at a later date.
The Justice Department and USDA will hold the next public workshop in Fort Collins, Colo., where the focus will be on the livestock industry. This will be followed by a workshop on margins in agriculture in Washington.
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U.S. Department of Justice U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of Public Affairs Office of Communications
Gina Talamona Jim Brownlee