The Department of Justice and the Department of Agriculture launched a series of workshops around the United States to discuss competition and regulatory issues in the agriculture industry. The Attorney General and Agriculture Secretary attended and addressed these unprecedented series of joint public workshops, the first DOJ/USDA workshops ever to be held to discuss competition and regulatory issues in the agriculture industry. The initial workshop, held on March 12, 2010, in Akeny, Iowa, featured panel discussions on a variety of topics important to America’s farmers and ranchers, including competitive dynamics in the seed industry, trends in contracting, transparency, and buyer power, and concluded with public testimony. More than 700 citizens from across the country were in attendance.
(L-R) Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack speak at the first joint DOJ/USDA agriculture workshop in Iowa.
On May 21, 2010, Alabama A&M University in Normal, Alabama, will host the second workshop addressing poultry producers concerns, trends in poultry production, and regulatory and enforcement issues. Attorney General Holder and Secretary Vilsack plan to attend and participate on a panel.
The third workshop will be presented at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin, on June 25, 2010, and will address issues in the dairy industry. Attorney General Holder and Secretary Vilsack once again plan to attend the workshop. The final workshop will be held at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, in August and will address issues in the cattle industry. Information on the hearings as well as transcripts and videos following the events are available on the Division’s agriculture workshop page.