More details have been released concerning the public workshop that will be held on May 21 at Alabama A&M University in Normal. The workshop will explore competition and regulatory issues in the agriculture industry. The focus will be consolidation and contracting practices of the poultry sector. The goals 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.
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 Alabama workshop. Attendance is free and open to the public.
The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Justice will hold additional workshops to discuss different agriculture areas. On June 25 at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the dairy industry will be studied with specific areas of focus that may include concentration, marketplace transparency and market dynamics in the dairy industry.
On August 27 at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, the livestock industry discussion will address beef, hog and other animal sectors. Likely issues for discussion are concentration in livestock markets, buyer power and enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act.
And on December 8 in Washington, D.C., workshop discussion will focus on 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.