March 16, 2020
The MWFPA News Bulletin is underwritten in part by Bug Blocker Doors & Screens
NOTICE - MWFPA Reschedules Accident Investigation Seminar, Postpones DNR Joint Meeting

Due to the current public health situation we have seen fit to postpone the MWFPA Accident Investigation Seminar scheduled for March 18, 2020. The seminar has been rescheduled for May 13, 2020 at the Wilderness Resort Glacier Canyon Conference Center in WI Dells, WI., pending the evolving state of the public health. Those currently registered for the seminar will have their registration automatically transferred to the new date.

The joint meeting with representatives of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources scheduled for March 19, 2020 has been postponed until further notice.

Should you have any questions, please contact Jane Algiers .
The MWFPA News Bulletin is underwritten in part by Alliant Energy
Coronavirus And The Food Industry

As COVID-19 continue to spread around the world and in the U.S., it is important for the food industry to keep up with the latest information from credible sources (WHO, FDA, CDC, and state and local health professionals) to understand the impact of the novel coronavirus and what can we do to contain and mitigate the covid-19.

Read more here on what can be done from Purnendu C. Vasavada, Professor Emeritus,
University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

On Sunday, over two dozen food and grocery executives held a phone call with President Trump to discuss various food supply chain factors during the coronavirus outbreak. The companies “are working hand-in-hand with the federal government, as well as state and local leaders, to ensure food and essentials are constantly available,” said a White House spokesman. USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue was reportedly on the call.

One topic of discussion was making sure any Covid-19-related quarantines do not impact the shipment of food products nor production of farm products.
Coronavirus Helps Canned Goods, Hurts Fresh

The coronavirus is good for soup but bad for beef.

That’s the effect it seems to be having, broadly speaking, on the food market. It’s leading consumers to stock up on nonperishable staples like soup and canned goods in general, while leading them away from meat and other fresh foods, all in anticipation of having to stay home and avoid contact with others.

Read more from Food Processing .
U.S. Congress Establishes Supply Chain Caucus In Response To Coronavirus

According to IEG Policy, the US, Congress is looking to tackle the possibility that coronavirus will disrupt supply chains by creating a Congressional Supply Chain Caucus.

Industry hopes it will explore innovative solutions to a host of global threats to make supply chains more efficient.

Read more .
FDA Submits CBD Report To Congress, But Reveals Little Progress

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) submitted a report to Congress providing an update on the agency’s evaluation of potential regulatory pathways for CBD products, as well as a description of how FDA expects to proceed moving forward. 

However, the report indicates that little actual progress has been made. The most significant development is that FDA is considering developing a risk-based enforcement policy that could possibly clarify FDA’s enforcement priorities.

Read more from Covington .
FDA, EPA and USDA Coordinate Education Effort Highlighting The Science Behind GMOs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, (USDA), have launched a new initiative to help consumers better understand foods created through genetic engineering, commonly called GMOs or genetically modified organisms.

The initiative, “ Feed Your Mind ,” aims to answer the most common questions that consumers have about GMOs, including what GMOs are, how and why they are made, how they are regulated and to address health and safety questions that consumers may have about these products.

Read the FDA news release .
Yoho Ag Labor Bill Puts USDA In Charge Of H-2A Program

Narrower ag labor legislation addressing the H-2A guest worker visa program is set to be introduced by Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), containing more-stringent provisions than the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (FWMA) passed by the House last year.

MWFPA will review this legislation when it becomes available. It has supported past efforts to reform the H-2A program which is expensive, flawed, and plagued with red tape.

Read more from Feedstuffs .
MN Legislature Moves To "On-Call" Status

The MN Legislature will not be recessing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but will be moving to an “on-call” status. Most, if not all, committee hearings will be canceled or postponed until at least April 14th.

The Legislature will work by “alternate means” by using email, phone communication, and social media.

Read more .
MN's Walz Proposes Slim Budget In Response To COVID-19

Responding to growing economic alarm, MN Gov. Tim Walz released an updated budget proposal last week that leaves most of a projected budget surplus unspent and places extra money into health and natural disaster response.

Walz said he would shore up the state’s budget reserve fund with a nearly $500 million infusion and leave more than $1 billion unspent. The DFL governor said calls for tax cuts and new spending on education will have to wait until a future session. But Republican Senate leaders say they're not done talking about tax cuts because they see it as potential economic stimulus.
MN H ouse Passes Paid Family And Medical Leave Bill

The Minnesota House passed a bill that would establish a state-administered paid family and medical leave insurance program, which would require Minnesota employers to provide employees with up to 12 weeks of paid leave benefits for qualifying family care and up to 12 more weeks for qualifying medical reasons per year.

The bill creates a funding mechanism through a payroll tax on employers and employees. Business and manufacturing groups have opposed this legislation which restricts employer flexibility in establishing family leave policy and instead institutes a one size fits all mandate.

It is expected the measure will face stiff opposition in the Republican-controlled Senate.
AgriGowth Hosts Annual Day On The Hill

MWFPA President Jason Culotta recently attended AgriGrowth's Annual Day on the Hill and Legislative Reception along with leaders from Minnesota’s agricultural and food industries in St. Paul.

There he met with legislators and agency officials throughout the day to discuss state public policy priorities, as well as to hear from the officials about the initiatives they are working to advance during the 2020 legislative session. In the photo above, freshman Rep. Jeff Brand (D-St. Peter) addresses Culotta and others on current legislative issues.
Attendees to the event included representatives from sectors including food processing entities, agricultural education, agriculture and legal consulting, commodity groups, cooperatives, dairy processors, engineering firms and several others. The Minnesota AgriGrowth Council is a nonprofit, nonpartisan member organization representing the agriculture and food systems industry and in which MWFPA participates.
Peterson Announces Reelection Bid For MN's 7th Congressional District Seat

U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson (pictured at left) has announced that he will seek reelection to his seat representing Minnesota's vast 7th Congressional District in Congress.

The announcement comes more than a month after the 75-year-old Democrat had initially said he would make clear his decision and as he prepares to vie to keep the seat he's held for nearly three decades.

As he enters the race, Peterson's set to face five Republican challengers and two Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidates aiming to garner the party's endorsement.
Pritzker Names New Head Of IL Department of Ag

IL Gov. JB Pritzker has appointed former state Rep. Jerry Costello II (pictured right) as the next director of the IL Department of Agriculture.

Costello (pictured right) 51, will take on the role after serving as the director of law enforcement for the IL Department of Natural Resources since May 2019.

A Democrat from southern Illinois, Costello served nearly eight years in the General Assembly from 2011 to 2019. During that time, he chaired the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee and was a member of the House Environment Committee.

He also served on the Pritzker administration’s agriculture transition committee after the governor was elected in 2018.

He grew up in Belleville and spent time on a small farm in southern ILs’ Franklin County, where his family produced crops and raised cattle.

Read more .
WI Issues Covid-19 Relief Effort Supply Permit

WI Gov. Evers has directed the state's Department of Transportation to issue permits for transporting supplies to grocery retailers impacted by the current public health situation. 

Fees will be waived for this permit, which will allow an additional 8,000 pounds for a legal maximum of 88,000 pounds for both interstate and intrastate carriers.
These permits are currently available until March 28, 2020.

For further details, read the official release here.
WI Gov. Evers Signs Nutrient Management Bill Into Law

MWFPA President Jason Culotta joined a host of other business and agriculture representatives (pictured at right) who supported passage of SB 91 at the bill signing in WI Gov. Evers' office.

The law establishes a system for buying and selling nutrient credits. It would allow businesses and municipalities that need to reduce phosphorus and nitrogen discharges into ground and surface water to buy nutrient credits through a clearinghouse. The clearinghouse would then pay farmers for conservation practices that improve water quality.

Those who hold a water pollution discharge elimination permit including farmers, manufacturers and other businesses will be eligible to participate in the nutrient credit trading system.
Have You Remembered To Pay Your Dues?

The 2020-2021 Membership Directory is going to print soon. Just a reminder, if your organization’s 2020 dues haven’t been paid your company will not be included in this publication.

Review your company’s listing using the member portal Infohub and make any updates necessary. You can also check to see if your dues are current in the member portal, and make payment directly using your credit card.

Please check for accuracy in the contact information and be sure categories and a company description are included in your profile. Contact Jane Algiers with questions or concerns.
May 12, 2020
Radisson Hotel, La Crosse, WI
Register now to attend or exhibit!
Food safety remains the most important issue facing the food industry. The MWFPA Food Science & Technology Committee is organizing a high quality seminar which incorporates the principles of sanitary practices in food facilities.
Speakers will be presenting on topics identified by our Food Science & Technology Committee as important to our member companies, including:
  • GHS and MSDS/Right to Know Law
  • Safety/PPE
  • Basic Microbiology
  • Application and Principles of Cleaning
  • Soil Identification
  • Sanitary Design
  • Sanitizers and Proper Use of Sanitizers
  • Testing Procedures and Proper Test Kits for the Application
  • Bacteria Control
  • More 
Register Now For MWFPA's Spring Summit & Scramble!

MAY 27-28, 2020
Kalahari Convention Center and Resort and Trappers Turn Golf Course, Wisconsin Dells, WI.
Wednesday, May 27th - Kalahari
7:30 a.m. Convention & AMO Committees Meeting
9:30 a.m. Board of Directors Meeting
1:30 p.m. Raw Products Committee Meeting
5:00 p.m. Reception, with hosted beer and wine
Thursday, May 28th - Trappers Turn
7:00 a.m. Golf Registration/Check-in
8:00 a.m. Shotgun Start
Immediately following golf there will be lunch, awards and cash prizes presented.
ENTRY FEES (Please note that invoicing is not an option for this event.)
GOLFERS : $150 per person (Note: You may register as a foursome, or as an individual. Fee includes Wednesday evening reception, Thursday golf, cart, gift bag, lunch and entry in prize drawings)
NON-GOLFERS : $75 per person (Fee includes Wednesday evening reception, Thursday lunch and entry in prize drawings)

For more information, click here .
Sponsorship opportunities are available! Contact Jane Algiers or Jason Culotta at 608-255-9946.

Published each fall, MWFPA's annual report summarizes the previous year's accomplishments and provides an overview of our financial status. It describes the work MWFPA has carried out over the preceding year and outlines some of the association's most significant achievements, challenges and programs.

MWFPA's 2019 Annual Report is now available for download. Find out more about the many ways in which the association is working to improve public policy in the Midwest for its members and assist the food manufacturing industry to grow and prosper. Click here.

Undergraduate students attending, or planning to attend, UW Madison, Platteville or River Falls are eligible for Friday/Weckel scholarships. Last year six scholarships were awarded totaling $9,000.

Applications are due by April 24, 2020. Last year six scholarships were awarded totaling $9,000.

Information and applications for scholarships offered by the Association can be downloaded from the MWFPA website, or by contacting Brian Elliott at:, or by calling 608-255-9946.
Mark Your Calendar: MWFPA Events You Won't Want To Miss
April 21, 2020 : MWFPA Human Resources Committee , 4600 American Pkwy., Madison, WI, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

May 12, 2020 : MWFPA Sanitation Seminar, Raddisson Hotel, 200 Second Street South, 200 Harborview Plaza, La Crosse, WI. Exhibitors welcome.

May 13, 2020: MWFPA Accident Investigation Seminar, Wilderness Resort, 511 E Adams St, Wisconsin Dells, WI, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Cost: $95 per person. Should you have any questions, please contact Jan Algiers or telephone: 608-255-9946.

May 27-28, 2020: MWFPA Spring Summit & Scramble, Trappers Turn Golf Club, 2955 Wisconsin Dells Pkwy, Wisconsin Dells, WI. May 27, 2020: MWFPA Committee Meetings - Kalahari Convention Center, WI Dells WI. - AMO & Convention Committees, 7:30 a.m./ Board of Directors 9:30 a.m./ Raw Products Committee 1:30 pm.

December 1-3, 2020:   MWFPA 116th Annual Convention and 93rd Processing Crops Conference . Kalahari Resort & Convention Center, Wisconsin Dells, WI.
Other Educational Opportunities
March 17-21, 2020 : PAS National Conference , Bloomington, MN. The PAS National Conference is a gathering of nearly 600 career-ready professional agricultural students, their collegiate advisors, and industry representatives. For more information contact: Steve Olson, National PAS - Fundraising Director/Industry Relations, Office: 612.355.1266, Cell: 651.270.3439

March 25, 2020: Exporting Food in 2020 Seminar , Doubletree by Hilton O'Hare-Rosemont, IL. Join Food Export–Midwest and the Illinois Department of Agriculture for a full-day of food export education. For additional and registration information, click here.

April 22-23, 2020 : Food Defense and Intentional Adulteration Rule Training , Minneapolis, MN. This two-day course hosted, by the Food Protection and Defense Institute (FPDI), provides the convenience and interaction of a single, in person class to more comprehensively learn the breadth and interconnections of IA Rule requirements including how to:

  • Prepare a Food Defense Plan
  • Conduct vulnerability assessments including the full FSPCA Intentional Adulteration Conducting Vulnerability Assessment Course (IAVA)
  • Identify and explain mitigation strategies
  • Conduct reanalysis

Click here for additional details and registration.

April 28-30, 2020: FDA/USDA Better Process Control School. Pyle Center , 702 Langdon Street, Madison, WI. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is pleased to support food and beverage manufacturers in the upper Midwest and across the nation by offering the FDA/USDA Better Process Control School. The Better Process Control School provides the food and beverage industry with qualified personnel in accordance with FDA and USDA regulations. All thermally processed low-acid or acidified foods which are packaged in hermetically-sealed containers must have certain critical operations supervised by a qualified person. Better Process Control School trains individuals to supervise these critical operations.
Arrangements have been made for content experts to support the industry via in-person, interactive lectures.
To facilitate travel, the training will be completed in 3 days. A full program schedule is here:
A link to online registration and more information is here:

April 29, 30 and May 1, 2020 : Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) Training . M3 Madison – 828 John Nolen Drive, Madison, WI. M3 Insurance, Madison office, in collaboration with the WI Manufacturing Extension Partnership, will host a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) training to help your company meet the Food Safety Modernization Act requirement.

This training is an to add depth to your food safety team or cross train employees who may not be directly responsible for food safety, but who can benefit from a deeper understanding of food safety methods.

Early bird registration is $449 (deadline to receive discounted price is April 10). Register now.
Brian Elliott | Midwest Food Products Association | Ph: (608) 255-9946 | Fax: (608) 255-9838