Two CALS economists on stage at this week’s dairy competition workshop

Two CALS faculty members will join a large showing of high-profile politicians, regulatory agency officals, farmers and dairy industry representatives from around the nation this Friday, June 25 for a workshop on competition in the dairy industry. Professor Emeritus Bob Cropp and Associate Professor Brian Gould, both of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, will be on panels during the afternoon program. Details about the event are contained in this press release.

Cropp will be part of the first of three panels being held in the afternoon. The panel will discuss industry trends: changes in the industry, the responses of industry stakeholders and the potential implications for regulation and enforcement. Also on that panel will be UW-Madison law professor Peter Carstensen, an expert in antitrust law and competition policy. Gould will participate in the second panel of the afternoon, exploring market consolidation — how changes in firm size are affecting both farmers and consumers.

The workshop is one of five being staged around the country by the Department of Justice and the USDA, each dealing with a different agricultural sector. The dairy competition workshop is expected to draw hundreds of participants, says Gould.

“This is a one-time national conference, the only one of the series dealing with dairy, so it’s going to draw a national audience. All of the major dairy organizations, representing producers as well as processors, will be there,” Gould says.

Gould says that holding these workshops is one of several indications suggesting that under the Obama administration, the Department of Justice will be more involved in antitrust activity than in the past.