MFU, NFU Applaud DOJ Expansion to Focus on Ag Issues

MFU, NFU Applaud DOJ Expansion to Focus on Ag Issues

The U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division announced a significant expansion of its efforts to address agricultural issues, with a plan to increase staffing dedicated to civil and criminal enforcement in the sector. Michael Kades, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ Antitrust Division, made this announcement on Friday at R-CALF USA’s 2024 Annual National Convention in Deadwood, South Dakota. 

The DOJ intends to expand hiring of lawyers for its Chicago office, who will primarily focus on antitrust, competition and fairness issues within agricultural supply chains. This new team, the first of its kind in the Midwest, will be tasked with enforcing laws related to agriculture. 

Both Montana Farmers Union President Walter Schweitzer and National Farmers Union President Rob Larew expressed strong support for the DOJ’s initiative, saying the move will help protect family farmers and ranchers from anticompetitive practices.

“It is refreshing to have an administration that is aggressively investigating the anticompetitive practices of the corporate monopolies. Expanding the DOJ and hiring more attorney’s to focus on antitrust, competition and fairness is what Farmers Union has been advocating for decades. Unlike many past presidents who talked about it, President Biden is actually doing something about it,” Schweitzer said.

“We appreciate that the DOJ is intensifying efforts to address anticompetitive practices in the agricultural sector. The increased focus on antitrust enforcement is a vital step toward ensuring fair competition and protecting family farmers and ranchers. NFU’s Farmers for Fairness campaign plays a crucial role in highlighting these concerns, and it’s encouraging to see such significant progress. Ensuring a competitive marketplace is essential for the success and sustainability of America’s family farmers,” Larew said.

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