The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) held the first-ever joint public workshop on competition and regulatory issues in the agriculture industry on Friday. The workshop, led by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, 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.
"In my travels across the country, I hear a consistent theme: producers are worried whether there is a future for them or their children in agriculture, and a viable market is an important factor in what that future looks like," said Vilsack. "These issues are difficult and complex, which is why this workshop today is so important and long overdue."
"Today's workshop provided the Department with an important opportunity to hear from a variety of perspectives and individuals about competition in the agriculture sector," said Attorney General Eric Holder. "We appreciate the importance of this industry to our economy and are committed to enforcing the antitrust laws effectively to ensure fair and open competition that protects both consumers and farmers."