America’s farmers were instrumental in the passage of the nation’s first antitrust laws. The weakening of the United States’ antitrust enforcement, however, has contributed to the decline of the American farmer, who is squeezed by oligopolies on the input and output side of the farm. This has led to a lower share of the food dollar, diminished profits, and alarming rates of farm failures. The goals of the farmers pushing for the first antitrust laws were not simply to lower prices for consumers, but to balance power in agricultural markets to provide for their economic liberty and security. Antitrust practitioners should be listening to the challenges faced by farmers today and push for reforms to return competition to agricultural markets.

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