Anti-Competitiveness & Price Gouging

In Minnesota and across the country, increasing attention is being drawn to the animal agriculture industry and the anti-competitive practices that are being used to  benefit a small minority of people along the food supply chain.

At the Land Stewardship Project’s Family Farm Breakfast and Lobby Day in April 2023, LSP members held a town hall meeting with Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and members of his office to discuss issues of consolidation and anti-competitiveness in the animal agriculture and healthcare industries. At the town hall, Attorney General Ellison heard from LSP farmer-members who shared their experiences of being small, diversified operators who are in competition with the large industrial operations that have consolidated animal agriculture. Ellison reaffirmed his commitment to working with farmers to take on corporate power and promote competition in the animal ag industry and discussed using, when possible, Minnesota’s antitrust rules.

Minnesota’s antitrust rules are there so that, when enforced, the people of Minnesota can combat monopoly power in any industry. When these rules are enforced, it is typically through a lawsuit brought by the Attorney General or a legal team looking at a specific industry. These lawsuits address a specific operation in the industry that has grown so large as to control or manipulate the entire industry. Price gouging rules and lawsuits are in the same category but focus on protecting a group of consumers rather than a group of operations.

Since the breakfast, members of the Attorney General’s office’s antitrust enforcement division have met with LSP staff and members twice to discuss specific ideas related to how the office can use Minnesota’s antitrust and price gouging protective legislation to help farmers get a fair shake in the animal ag industry. This includes addressing processing and price issues faced by both dairy farmers and pork producers, along with taking on the largest operators in the animal agriculture industry.

These conversations come at a time where Minnesota dairy farmers are once again faced with a major milk price slump. During the summer of 2023, dairy farmers in the Upper Midwest Federal Milk Marketing Order Region have been receiving the lowest milk prices in the nation. This has been made worse locally by the sudden closure of local creameries in southeastern Minnesota, leaving many dairy farmers operating at a deficit and forcing them to make tough choices when it comes to the future of their operations. It should be noted that during this same period, consumers in the Upper Midwest region have been paying extremely high prices for their milk.

What You Can Do

If we are going to take on corporate power in the animal agriculture industry, put a stop to the anti-competitive practices that large operations are using to benefit themselves, and give the majority of farmers a fair shake as producers, the people at the Attorney General’s office and other decision-makers need to hear from you. From lower milk check amounts and issues related to accessing processing at a fair price, to higher prices at the grocery store, everyone from farmers, the communities they are a part of, to eaters alike are all being affected by this. The best thing you can do to help right now is to share what you have been seeing. No matter if it is something that you are currently experiencing, or if it was a few years ago, your story can help make the animal agriculture industry better.

Below and to the right is a link to the antitrust report form for the Attorney General’s office. To the left are two links to send a message to the Chair of the Minnesota Senate Agriculture Committee, Sen. Aric Putnam. The senator’s office has specifically requested to hear from farmers and those that are concerned about what they are seeing in the animal ag sector. Your messages do not need to be perfect, but if you want to talk with someone before submitting or are wondering if your story should be submitted, feel free to reach out to LSP policy organizer Matthew Sheets via e-mail at

Click here to leave a comment with the Minnesota Attorney General’s office through its Antitrust Report Form 

Click here to send an e-mail to Senate Ag Committee Chair Sen. Aric Putnam 

Click here to send an e-mail to Sen. Aric Putnam’s Legislative Assistant Jacqueline Borromeo 

For More Information & to Get Involved

For more information or to get involved, contact Matthew Sheets, an LSP organizer working on factory farms and animal ag consolidation, at or 612-767-9709.