September 22, 2020

The “Pickle in the Middle”: The Competitive Issues Facing America’s Farmers

Please join the Thurmond Arnold Project and the Law, Ethics, & Animals Program for an online lunch talk featuring Peter Carstensen on the topics below. Professor Carstensen is a senior fellow at the American Antitrust Institute, former attorney at the Antitrust Division at the Depatrment of Justice, and professor of law emeritus at the University of Wisconsin--Madison School of Law.

Farmers face increasingly concentrated supply markets for seeds, fertilizer, equipment and many other inputs.  At the same time, they face increased concentration in the markets into which they sell their crops, milk, livestock, and poultry.  The result is higher costs and reduced income.  For more than a century American law has sought to control such risks by antitrust and agriculture specific laws whose intent was to ensure competitive markets both for inputs and outputs.  In addition, the law has long provided specific protections in farming contexts against excessive buyer power.  This framework still exists, but it has failed so far to provide real protections for farmers.  This presentation is to provide a critical overview of the competitive and legal issues facing farmers today.

More information may be found here.