TopofPageMidwest Food Procducts Association News Bulletin  - December 15, 2016   
In This Issue
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Congress Approves Must-Pass Spending Bill
Congress approved and President Obama signed a must-pass spending bill, ending the threat of a short-term government shutdown.

Meanwhile, Congress also cleared a water resources measure which the President is expected to sign into law.

With the work of the 114th Congress behind them, GOP leaders are anxious to get the 115th Congress underway in order to consider resolutions of disapproval of "midnight" regulations issued by the outgoing Obama Administration under the Congressional Review Act. Among other items on the GOP agenda to commence in January, 2017 are repealing the Affordable Care Act, tax reform and an infrastructure package.

The 115th Congress is scheduled to meet from January 3, 2017, through January 3, 2019, during the first two years of President-elect Donald Trump's presidency. 
Trump Nominates Pruitt, Perry  For EPA and Energy Posts
President-elect Donald Trump plans to nominate Scott Pruitt, the Republican attorney general of Oklahoma and a frequent legal adversary to the Obama Administration, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Pruitt has challenged the established view regarding global warming and worked with some of the country's top energy producers to challenge President Obama's Clean Power Plan. He also fought for the Keystone XL Pipeline.

The President-elect also announced plans to nominate former Texas Gov. Rick Perry as Energy secretary. Perry served as governor of the nation's largest energy-producing state for nearly 15 years and made two unsuccessful runs at the presidency. During his time of governor Perry preached an "all-the-above" energy mix, including contributions from oil and gas, wind energy, carbon capture and storage technology, and nuclear power.
Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates most aspects of food production and consumption in the United States, the EPA is responsible for regulating the use of pesticides on food and issues of importance to food manufacturing such as climate regulation and water quality standards involving phosphorous. 

The Department of Energy maintains and secures U.S. nuclear weapons, but it also has a wide-ranging impact on U.S. energy policy, renewable energy research and development, and plays a major regulatory role in overseeing nuclear power and natural gas. 
Special Session Continues To Elude Dayton, MN Lawmakers
MN Gov. Mark Dayton undertook what is likely to be one final push for a short special legislative session before the end of the year, asking lawmakers to join in passing relief for spiking health insurance premiums in the state's private market, and finally approving two major spending bills that stalled months ago.

Read more from the MN StarTribune.

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Report Says Immigrants Contribute To All Aspects of MN Economy
Immigrants and refugees contribute to the state's economy as workers and entrepreneurs, according to a new report from Minnesota's businesses.  The report from the Minnesota Business Immigration Coalition looks at the economic impact of immigration. Read more here.

IL Gov. Signs Energy Bill
As expected, IL Gov. Rauner signed SB 2814 (Rose/Rita), otherwise known as the 'Future Energy Jobs Bill.'  The Governor made stops at high schools in Clinton and Port Byron to signed the legislation.  Both cities are home to the two Exelon nuclear generators that were on the verge of being shut down.  
SB 2814 was designed to keep the two IL nuclear plants from closing and also increased energy efficiency programs and improvements to the Renewable Portfolio Standard.  
While cognizant to the potential regional impact to the two communities and the potential impact to the grid, MWFPA and the IL Chamber of Commerce ultimately opposed the legislation due to the increased costs it will have on all rate payers, most notably on businesses.  The bill goes into effect June 1, 2017. 
Hormel's Forbes To Head MWFPA Board
Mike Forbes, Corporate Manager - Regulatory Affairs, at Hormel Foods Corporation in Austin, Minnesota, has been elected chairman of the Midwest Food Products Association (MWFPA) board of directors at the this year's annual convention.

Mike has been a member of the MWFPA board of directors since 2013 and served as its vice chair during 2016.  He has also served as secretary/treasurer and a member of the MWFPA MN Legislative Committee.

Mike started with Hormel in 1996 as a quality and process control engineer in the Austin, MN., plant. He was then transferred to the Osceola, Iowa, plant as quality and process control engineer. In 1998, he was promoted to supervisor of quality and process control in the Stockton, Calif., plant. He was named thermal process technologist for the company in 1999.  In 2008 he was made director of manufacturing and technical services and promoted to his present position in 2011.

Congratulations Mike!

Also at the convention, Tom Timm, Pinnacle Foods, was elected Secretary/Treasurer beginning in 2017. The MWFPA officers for 2017 will be:

Chair  Mike Forbes, Hormel Foods Corporation 
Vice-Chair  Jon Brekken, Seneca Foods Corp. 
Secretary/Treasurer  Tom Timm, Pinnacle Foods 
Past Chair  Joe Breid, Bush Brothers & Company 
49ers Donate $2,500 To Scholarships On Behalf of Yanda
David Yanda (L) accepts a $2,500 check from Brian Scott of Reyco Systems, Inc. (C) and MWFPA President Nick George (R) to be donated to the MWFPA Scholarship Program.

At MWFPA's annual convention, the 49ers presented the MWFPA Scholarship Fund $2,500 on behalf of David Yanda, retired Lakeside Foods' president and CEO.  Yanda also received the 49ers Distinguished Service Award for his outstanding service to food processing and allied industries.

The MWFPA Scholarship Program provides financial assistance to deserving children of parents or guardians who are employees of MWFPA member companies.  To be eligible, an applicant must be a high school senior or post-secondary student accepted into, or attending any post-secondary school, in the United States. A post-secondary school means an institution of higher education including a vocational and technical college, two-and four-year colleges and private trade schools. Winning applicants may attend these schools with any major of study.

In 2016, $18,000 in scholarships were awarded to deserving students.
MWFPA Offers Exclusive Property & Casualty Insurance Program For Members
The Midwest Food Processors Association is pleased to announce that MWFPA members now have access to an exclusive insurance program that is written specifically for our industry.  With assistance from the risk management firm Hays Companies, this program offers a customized Property and Casualty insurance program.

The program offers a complete insurance program for all business types, from processor to manufacturers, logistics to wholesaler and anything in between.  No market segment is excluded, and no organization is too large or too small.  

Learn more about what the MWFPA Insurance Program can do for you by visiting the program's website:

Our main contact for the program is Brad Van Swol and he can be reached via:
Phone: (414) 290-3581

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MWFPA Events You Won't Want To Miss
May 31 - June 1, 2017MWFPA Spring Summit & Scramble.Trappers Turn Golf Course, Wisconsin Dells, WI

October 5, 2017MWFPA Sporting Clay Challenge. Milford Hills Hunt Club, Johnson Creek, WI.

November 28 - 30, 2017MWFPA 113th Annual Convention and 90th Processing Crops Conference.  Mayo Civic Center, Rochester, MN.

Other Educational Opportunities
February 13-17, 2017Industrial Refrigeration Workshop. Crowne Plaza Charlotte Executive Park Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina. This one-week course is intended for those who make decisions such as the purchase of new components, and the enlargement or modification of the plant. Manufacturers of components learn how their products fit into the entire system. For more information, click here.
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