Vilsasck says we’ve lost 80,000 “middle sized” farms in the last year alone. Vilsack states the these workshops are long overdue. Starts out recognizing that seed, packers,and dairy are concentrated – questions if farmers are getting a “fair shake.”
Eric Holder starts out with a quote from Eisenhower: “Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field. He calls this “a historical milestone”…”Never has this happened since the founding of the Sheman Antitrust Act”.
Expresses concerns that there are illegal activities, and that enforcement of antitrust laws are critical, but that this is bigger than DOJ and that is why they are partnering with USDA as there are likely regulatory issues at play. He gets it! Says we must not only keep up this work that we start to day, but that “we must expand it.”
“We are not afraid to hear from you what is on your mind. you have to be as frank as you can be.”
“We have to protect both farmers and consumers from anti-competitive activity.”
Mentions state attorney generals, FTC, and others as partners in these investigations.
“We will enhance our ability to do the job you expect from us if we have a very frank exchange of views this morning”