The Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice will host a series of listening forums to hear from those who have experienced firsthand the effects of mergers and acquisitions beyond antitrust experts, including consumers, workers, entrepreneurs, start-ups, farmers, investors, and independent businesses. The forums will be helmed by FTC Chair Lina M. Khan and Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter of the Antitrust Division. The link to each webcast will be made public on the day of the event. The topic of the March 28th Forum is Food and Agriculture.
The listening forums will be open to the public, webcast on the FTC’s website, transcribed, posted online, and included as part of the public record.
March 28, 2022 – Speaker Bios
Lina M. Khan was sworn in as Chair of the Federal Trade Commission on June 15, 2021. Prior to becoming head of the FTC, Khan was an Associate Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. She also previously served as counsel to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law, legal adviser to FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra, and legal director at the Open Markets Institute. Khan’s scholarship on antitrust and competition policy has been published in the Columbia Law Review, Harvard Law Review, University of Chicago Law Review, and Yale Law Journal. She is a graduate of Williams College and Yale Law School.
Dr. Kathryn Bedell is a licensed veterinarian who practiced for 10 years before moving with her family to a ranch in Western Colorado. She raises grass fed beef and directly markets beef to families and wholesale accounts. She also opened a retail store, Roan Creek Ranch Grocery, to sell her beef and other local products.
Mike Salguero founded ButcherBox in 2015 when he discovered that 100% grass-fed beef was extremely hard to find in the U.S. Taking on the challenge to make high quality meat more accessible to consumers, Mike built ButcherBox as the online butcher, bringing high quality, claims-based meat right to consumers’ doors. In 2020, ButcherBox became B Corporation Certified, signaling the brand’s commitment to using its business as a force for good.
Kevin Ellis was born and raised on a 300-cow dairy farm in Tully, NY. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from Cornell University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Rochester Simon School. Kevin is the CEO of Cayuga Marketing, a milk cooperative selling 1.4 billion lbs. of milk annually, and he is the CEO of Cayuga Milk Ingredients, a global milk ingredients company that sells to over 80 countries.
Sarah Lloyd farms with her husband Nels Nelson and his family on the 400-cow Nelson dairy farm outside Wisconsin Dells, WI. She serves as the President of the Columbia County Farmers Union and on the Wisconsin Farmers Union Board. Sarah works off-farm on supply chain development for the University of Wisconsin and the University of Minnesota.
Todd Leake and his family farm on 1800 acres in Grand Forks County, ND. He conventionally farms hard red spring wheat, soybeans, sunflower and dry edible beans and is the past president of Grand Forks County Farmers Union after serving two years on the North Dakota Farmers Union Policy and Action Committee and ten years on the board of directors of the Emerado Farmers Co-op Elevator Company. He grows his own hard red spring wheat through varieties available from NDSU Foundation Seed Stocks and ND Crop Improvement Association and he finds the input costs of fertilizer, chemical and other seed inputs to have been dramatically influenced by the concentration in those respective industries.
Anthony Pena is a second-generation Dominican supermarket operator from Norwalk, Connecticut. He owns close to a dozen grocery stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island under the Super Fresh and Save-A-Lot banners.
Tom Charley is a fourth-generation retailer from Greensburg, Pennsylvania. His great grandfather immigrated from Syria in 1900 and started selling produce door to door before opening his own food distribution business. The family now has 3 “Shop N Save” grocery stores within a 15 mile radius in Pennsylvania.
Greg Gunthorp is a family farmer who raises pastured pigs, turkeys and sheep on a 275 acre operation near LaGrange Indiana. He has an on-farm, USDA-inspected processing plant. His farms products are served at Chicago O’Hare Airport, Wrigley Field Clubhouse, and Disney.
Members of the public who registered in advance will then be given two minutes each to make oral comments.
Jonathan Kanter was confirmed on November 17, 2021, as Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division. Throughout his career, Mr. Kanter has been a leading advocate for strong and meaningful antitrust enforcement and competition policy. Mr. Kanter has been a partner in the Washington, D.C. offices of two national law firms and was the founder of a boutique antitrust law firm dedicated to promoting antitrust enforcement. Mr. Kanter began his career as an attorney for the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Competition. He earned his J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis and his B.A. from State University of New York at Albany.
The forums will supplement the agencies’ recent request for comments on merger enforcement guidelines to ensure that the agencies hear from affected groups who might not otherwise participate in the process. For more information please read the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division joint public inquiry aimed at strengthening enforcement against illegal mergers.
Transcript - Files