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The New Meat Monopoly: The Animal, The Farmer, and You in the New Age of Global Giants

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A generation ago, the business of raising animals for food in America looked much like it had at the Founding - family farms, open and competitive markets, high standards, and a self sustaining national economy. Today, vast corporations rule almost every corner of the animal agriculture landscape, and these giants are increasingly controlled from foreign capitals. Some economists argue in favor of this new order of things, mainly claiming it is more “efficient.” But there’s also growing evidence that this top-down system can harm the wellbeing of animals, the farmer, and the eater. New America’s Markets and Resiliency Program hosted an open discussion of the pros and cons of America’s new industrial meat system, and of cutting edge efforts to reform the worst practices.
 
Wayne Pacelle, President of the Humane Society of the United States, discussed his organization’s brand new alliance with family farmers, which has the potential to entirely transform the politics of animal agriculture in America. Also, Christopher Leonard, author of the new book The Meat Racket, led a discussion of the little-known but fast-growing and highly disturbing practice in which local monopolists pit farmers against one another in “Tournaments.” Leonard's book, the first detailed look in a generation at concentration in animal agriculture, is fast on its way to becoming a best seller, thanks to recent boosts from The New York TimesBill Maher, and NPR's Morning Edition.
 
Join the conversation online by using #MeatMonopoly and by following @NewAmerica.   

Agenda

9:30 am            How Consolidation Affects the EATER 
                          Food Safety, Country of Origin Labeling, Pricing and The Beef Tax 
      
                         Featured Speakers: 
                         Dudley Butler
                         Former Director of the Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration
 
                         Siddhartha Mahanta
                         Policy Analyst, New America
                         Author of "Big Beef," in the Washington Monthly, January 2014
                         @sidhubaba
            
                         Patrick Woodall
                         Research Director, Food & Water Watch
                         @foodandwater
                         
                         Dean Gold
                         Former VP of Procurement for Whole Foods,
                         Owner of Dino’s Grotto restaurant, in Washington, DC.
 
                         Moderator:
                         Kimberly Kindy
                         Food safety reporter, The Washington Post
 
10:30 am         How Consolidation Affects the ANIMAL 
                         Animal Welfare: Does Farm Size Matter?

    
                         Featured Speakers:
                         Mike Callicrate
                         Rancher, Colorado
                         @MikeCallicrate

                         Sheila Nichols
                         Director of Missouri FoodCORE and Ozarks Regional Food Policy Council

                         C. Robert Taylor
                         Alfa Eminent Scholar and Professor of Agricultural Policy, Auburn University
 
                         Andrew Gunther
                         Director, Animal Welfare Approved (AWA)
                         Former VP of Procurement for Whole Foods
                         @AWAapproved
 
                         Moderator: 
                         Haley Sweetland Edwards
                         Editor, Washington Monthly
                         @haleybureau

11:30 am         The Humane Society's New Alliance with Family Farmers

 
                        Wayne Pacelle
                        President, Humane Society of the United States
                        @HumaneSociety
 
11:45 am        How Consolidation Affects the FARMER and the WORKER 
                        The End of Markets and the Rise of Farmer vs. Farmer "Tournaments"  

 
                        Featured Speakers:
                        Mike Weaver
                        Chicken farmer, West Virginia
 
                        Renee L. Bowser
                        Assistant General Counsel, United Food Commercial Workers

                        Christopher Leonard
                        New America Fellow
                        Author, The Meat Racket (Simon & Schuster 2014)
                        @CLeonardNews
 
                        Albert Foer
                        President, the American Antitrust Institute
 
                        Moderator: 
                        Katherine Mangu-Ward
                        Future Tense Fellow, New America
                        Managing Editor, Reason Magazine
                        @kmanguward
 
 12:45 pm        Lunch will be served.
                   
 

Event Time and Location

Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 9:30am - 1:15pm
New America Foundation
1899 L Street NW Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036

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