The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Justice today announced additional details regarding the June 25 public workshop in Madison, Wis., to examine competition and regulatory issues in the dairy industry. The workshop will be held in the Union Theater at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
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.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, 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.