U.S.D.A., D.O.J. to hold dairy workshop

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Attorney General Eric Holder are among the participants expected to take part in a June 25 dairy workshop at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Justice announced the agenda and panelists for the joint public workshop, which 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 begin with opening remarks and a roundtable discussion featuring Mr. Holder, Mr. 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 Wisconsin state Agriculture Secretary Rod Nilsestuen all have 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.” The workshop also will include a two-hour time block dedicated to public testimony, one immediately prior to lunch and the other at the end of the day.

The general public and media interested in attending the Wisconsin workshop should register at www.surveymonkey.com/s/V3FHXPY.

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