Agriculture Department and Justice Department Cooperating to Protect Agricultural Producers

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Attorney General Merrick B. Garland have expressed their shared commitment to effectively enforcing federal competition laws that protect farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural producers and growers from unfair and anticompetitive practices, including the antitrust laws and the Packers and Stockyards Act. A statement of principles released by the two deartments asserts that farmers, ranchers, and other producers and growers deserve the benefits of free and fair competition, and the Justice Department and USDA therefore are prioritizing matters impacting competition in agriculture. The agencies will jointly develop within 30 days a centralized, accessible process for farmers, ranchers, and other producers and growers to submit complaints about potential violations of the antitrust laws and the Packers and Stockyards Act. Furthermore, both agencies commit to vigorously enforce the laws that protect farmers, ranchers, and other producers and growers from unfair, deceptive, discriminatory, and anticompetitive practices.