Thursday, June 24, 2010

MFU to attend DOJ/USDA workshop on the dairy industry

On Friday, June 24, Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) Vice President Gary Wertish and MFU Government Relations Director Thom Petersen will be attending the Department of Justice and the United States Department of Agriculture’s workshop about the dairy industry. The workshop will be held at the University of Wisconsin – Madison at the Union Theater in Memorial Union, 800 Langdon Street.

“Fair competition and price discovery are hampered by the concentration of the dairy industry in the hands of a few,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “This concentration serves the bottom line of the companies, not the family farmers or the consumers. I hope these hearings will start to pinpoint solutions for fairer competition and price discovery so our family farmers can compete and stay in business.”

The goals of the workshop are to promote dialogue among interested parties and foster learning with respect to the appropriate legal and economic analyses of these issues, as well as to listen to and learn from parties with experience in the agriculture sector. There will be a roundtable discussion; farmer presentations of issues; and panels on: trends in the dairy industry, market consolidation, and market transparency. The Honorable Eric Holder, Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice and The Honorable Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture will be in attendance.

To speak with MFU representatives before, during, or after the workshop, contact MFU Vice President Gary Wertish at 651.262.7128 or MFU Government Relations Director Thom Petersen at 612.860.9462. You can also find more information about the workshop at

Minnesota Farmers Union ( is a nonprofit membership-based organization working to protect and enhance the economic interests and quality of life of family farmers and ranchers, as well as rural communities.

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