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Ag Competition Workshop Sparking Debate on GIPSA

07:42AM Aug 26, 2010

Tomorrow in Fort Collins, Colo., the Department of Justice will be holding the fourth workshop to address the issue of competitiveness in agriculture. This specific workshop tomorrow will address beef, hog and other animal sectors with discussions on concentration in livestock markets, buyer power and enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act.

While the workshop was scheduled prior to the latest proposed rule by the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, that proposed rule is expected to be the center of the discussion and debate tomorrow. All sides of the proposed rule are heading to Colorado to make sure their voice is heard. You can read more on the different view points by reading the latest blogs from Beef Today Editor Emeritus Steve Cornett and veterinarian Max Thornsberry:

Steve Cornett: Cattlemen Shouting Into the Wind 

Max Thornsberry: How GIPSA’s Competition Rule Disrupts the Packers’ Plan to Control the Cattle Supply Chain

Later today, different groups will be conducting press conferences on the workshops and discussing the potential impact of the GIPSA's proposed rule.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the National Pork Producers Council press briefing on Aug. 26, 2010, in Fort Collins, Colo., will provide information regarding GIPSA's proposed rule. The purpose is to provide information from several different perspectives. This event will begin at 4 p.m. (MDT).

Also today at 5 p.m. (MDT) there will be a dinner and public forum sponsored by Food & Water Watch, the Western Organization of Resource Councils, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and R-CALF USA.

Check back to and for updates this evening and tomorrow.

To date, three DOJ workshops have been completed: the first on issues facing crop farmers; the second production contracts in the poultry industry, concentration and buyer power; and the third on concentration, marketplace transparency and market dynamics in the dairy industry. Follow this link to access transcripts form those meetings.