USDA and the U.S. Department of Justice have updated the schedule for the first-ever joint public workshop set for Friday, March 12 in Ankeny, Iowa. The event aims to explore competition and regulatory issues in the ag industry and will be held at the FFA Enrichment Center at Des Moines Area Community College.
First announced by U.S. Attorney General last August, the goals of the series of workshops are to promote "dialogue among interested parties and foster learning with respect to the appropriate legal and economic analyses of these issues," according to a press statement. The general public can register for the event at AgWorkshop.
The first meeting will have a host of high-level representatives. 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 the workshop and will be joined by Iowa Lt. Gov. Patty Judge, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey. They will participate in a roundtable discussion with presentations on current issues affecting farmers. Testimony and roundtable discussion by a panel of farmers will follow. The workshop will also feature two panels focusing on the competitive dynamics in the seed industry and trends in contracting, transparency and buyer power. The first day of the workshops will end with an enforcer roundtable and public testimony.
You can check out the schedule and added updates on the workshops by visiting Workshop Web site. No streaming Web cast will be available for review but transcripts will be available at a later data on Antitrust Division's Web site.