Organization for Competitive Markets
P.O. Box 6486
Lincoln, NE 68506
Contact: Fred Stokes, 662-476-5568 or 601-527-2459
Michael Stumo, 413.854.2580
Lincoln, Nebraska – On August 23, 2008, the Organization for Competitive Markets awarded its highest public interest award, the John Helmuth Award, to attorney David Balto. The award recognizes Balto for his significant work in providing pro-antitrust representation to America’s farmers and ranchers. John Helmuth was a renowned agricultural economist who died in 1999. Helmuth was instrumental in forming OCM and laying the intellectual groundwork for analyzing meatpacker market power.
“John Helmuth was a hero to most of us in OCM,” said Randy Stevenson, OCM president. “We are honored to present this award to David Balto due to his tremendous work for American farmers and ranchers. His work and analysis involving the Smithfield Foods/Premium Standard Farms merger, and in the JBS/Swift planned acquisition of National Beef and Smithfield Beef has been priceless and effective.”
David Balto has over a quarter century of antitrust experience, the majority of which was spent as an antitrust enforcer in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ), and in several senior management positions, including policy director at the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”). Balto currently practices before both agencies and frequently represents consumer groups, producers, and other service providers, before the DOJ Antitrust Division and the FTC.
“I knew John Helmuth for many years as tried to address excessive meatpacker market power,” said Mike Callicrate, OCM vice president. “Helmuth was one of the most honorable, selfless and intelligent men I knew. I am very happy to see David Balto receive this OCM award.”
“We created the John Helmuth Award to honor the most deserving person in America each year who is dedicated to improving competition through improved antitrust,” said Fred Stokes, OCM executive director. “We do not give the award every year, but Davit Balto was especially deserving. OCM appreciates all his efforts on our behalf, and on the behalf of America’s farmers and ranchers.”
OCM is a nonprofit national organization dedicated to preserving fair, open and competitive markets for America’s farmers and ranchers