Department of Justice and USDA Announce Agenda for June 25 Dairy Workshop

Jun 21, 2010, 17:44 ET from U.S. Department of Justice

Workshop to be Held at University of Wisconsin – Madison

WASHINGTON, June 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today the agenda and panelists for the June 25 workshop examining competition in the dairy industry.  The joint public workshop will build on the knowledge and experience of industry stakeholders, including farmers, processors, cooperative leaders and academics.  This is the third in a series of five workshops intended to promote dialogue among interested parties and foster learning with respect to competition and regulatory issues in agriculture.

The workshop will be held in the Wisconsin Union Theater at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, 800 Langdon Street, Madison, Wis.  Attendance is free and open to the public.  The general public and media interested in attending the Wisconsin workshop should register at

The workshop will begin with opening remarks and a roundtable discussion including 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.  Wisconsin Senators Herb Kohl and Russell Feingold; Representatives Ron Kind, Steve Kagen and Tammy Baldwin; Governor Jim Doyle; and Agriculture Secretary Rod Nilsestuen have all tentatively accepted invitations to join the roundtable discussion.

The workshop will continue with a session entitled, "Farmer Presentation of Issues," as well as panels on "Trends in the Dairy Industry," "Market Consolidation" and "Market Transparency."  There will also be two hours dedicated to public testimony, one immediately prior to lunch and the other at the end of the day.  

The schedule is as follows:

8:45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. CDT Opening Remarks

Eric Holder, Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice

Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture

9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. CDT Keynote Roundtable Discussion

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


Herb Kohl, Senator, U.S. Senate

Russell Feingold, Senator, U.S. Senate

Tammy Baldwin, Congresswoman, U.S. House of Representatives

Ron Kind, Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives

Steve Kagen, Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives

Jim Doyle, Governor, state of Wisconsin

Rod Nilsestuen, Secretary of Agriculture, state of Wisconsin

10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. CDT Farmer Presentation of Issues

This panel will be an opportunity to hear first-hand from dairy farmers as they share their experiences and perspectives on the industry.

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

Jamie Bledsoe, Riverdale, Calif.

Joaquin Contente, Hanford, Calif.

Joel Greeno, Kendall, Wis.

Frances Horton, Hatch, N.M.

Ed King, Schuylerville, N.Y.

Bill Rowell, Sheldon, Vt.

Christine Sukalski, Leroy, Minn.

Darin Von Ruden, Westby, Wis.

11:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. CDT Coffee Break

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. CDT Public Testimony

12:45 p.m.1:15 p.m. CDT Lunch

1:15 p.m.2:30 p.m. CDT Panel I – Trends in the Dairy Industry

This panel will examine changes in the industry, the responses of industry stakeholders and the potential implications for regulation and enforcement.

Moderator:  Josh Soven, Chief, Litigation I Section, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice

Peter Carstensen, Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin

Ron Cotterill, Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Connecticut

Bob Cropp, Emeritus Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Wisconsin

Jim Goodman, organic dairy farmer, Wonewoc, Wis.

Jerrel Heatwole, dairy farmer, Greenwood, Del.

Peter Kappelman, chairman of the board of directors, Land O' Lakes Cooperative

Marcus Peperzak, chief executive officer, Aurora Organic Dairy

2:30 p.m.3:45 p.m. CDT  Panel II – Market Consolidation

This panel will explore how changes in firm size are affecting both farmers and consumers. 

Moderator:  James MacDonald, Chief, Agricultural Structure and Productivity Branch, Economic Research Service

Calvin Covington, retired dairy industry executive, King, N.C.

Brian Gould, Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Wisconsin - Madison  

Louise Hemstead, chief operating officer, Organic Valley Cooperative   

Daniel Smith, Esq., former administrator, Northeast Dairy Compact Commission

John Wilson, senior vice president, Dairy Farmers of America

3:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. CDT Break

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. CDT Panel III – Market Transparency

This panel will examine farm prices for milk, contracts and related issues from a public policy perspective.

Moderator:  Mark Tobey, Special Counsel for Agriculture and State Relations, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice

Stephen Obie, director of enforcement, Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Andy Pauline, assistant director, Government Accountability Office

Tanya Rushing, dairy farmer, Tylertown, Miss.

Denny Wolff, partner, Versant Strategies, and former Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture

Robert Yonkers, vice president and chief economist, International Dairy Foods Association

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. CDT Public Testimony

6:00 p.m. CDT Concluding Remarks

Additional information, including submitted public comments and transcripts for past workshops can be found at the Antitrust Division's agriculture workshop website at  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

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice