Agenda for Competitive Workshop Outlined

Dec. 8 Washington, D.C., event to focus on ag margins and includes a wide range of speakers.

Published on: Dec 7, 2010

USDA and the U.S. Department of Justice have released the agenda for tomorrow's meeting in Washington, D.C., to explore agricultural margins. To be held in Washington, D.C., this is the fifth and final event in this special information-gathering series that's looking at many aspects of agriculture from seed to dairy to livestock practices.

Here's a rundown of the final agenda:

The schedule for the day is as follows:

8:30 a.m -  8:45 a.m. Opening Remarks

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. - 10:00 a.m. Panel I - Industry Dynamics from Farm to Consumers

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

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. - 10:30 a.m. Coffee Break

10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Panel II - Margins in the Dairy Industry

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

Eunice Biel, dairy producer, Minnesota
David DeSantis, chief of enforcement and accounting, 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. - 12:30 p.m. Public Testimony

12:30 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. Lunch

1:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Panel III – Issues in Food Retailing

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

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. - 3:00 p.m. Break

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Panel IV - Margins in the Livestock and Poultry Industries

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

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. - 4:05 p.m. Introduction of Public Testimony and Concluding Remarks

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

4:05 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Public Testimony

Additional information, including submitted public comments and transcripts for past workshops can be found at the Antitrust Division’s agriculture workshop website at www.justice.gov/atr/public/workshops/ag2010/index.htm.  While no streaming webcast will be available, transcripts and video will be available for this workshop at a later date on the Antitrust Division’s website.  Individuals seeking more information on the workshops should contact agriculturalworkshops@usdoj.gov

Media who wish to attend the workshop may begin arriving at 7:00 a.m. EST and cameras must be pre-set by 7:30 a.m. EST.  The closest Metro station to the Jefferson Auditorium of USDA’s South Building is Smithsonian.