May 3, 2021 Issue
This Thursday, May 6th!
Elements of a Great Leader
Presenter: intRAtrain by Russell Associates

Understanding the elements of what makes a leader “Great” can assist by providing leadership strategies that have a positive impact on the people affected by their leadership. Leaders matter. How we lead matters. 
Leadership is a broad term that encompasses building a bond based on trust and credibility. Elements of leadership include…. self-awareness, understanding, influencing, and a planning process and vision that is clearly communicated.
intRAtrain has a been a proud MWFPA member for many years. They have trained over 100 MWPFA member employees with their program, Achieve Results Through Leadership. 

During this session, presenters Jerry Van Oort and Jonathan Shaver will cover:
  • Difference between your role as a Leader and Manager
  • Six Elements of Leadership
  • Six Actions of Great Leaders
  • Situational Approach to Leadership

Sign up today for “Elements of a Great Leader”. Attendees will leave the course with strategies they can integrate into their job roles and responsibilities.

Leaders, managers and supervisors in:
Plant, Operations, QA, Ag, Food Safety, Transportation, Safety, Accounting, Sales

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Kalahari for a rate of $99. Be sure to indicate you are with MWFPA group when making your reservation. (Deadline to register for discounted rate was May 2nd.)

Kalahari Resort
1305 Kalahari Drive, Wisconsin Dells, WI, 53965
Featured Event

Annual Summit & Scramble
June 2-3, 2021

Make plans to attend the 2021 Summit & Scramble this year at Trappers Turn!

People are anxious to get together and get outdoors, so we won't be surprised if we are back to a sell-out this year! Register today if you haven't already done so.

Please consider sponsoring or donating an item for the golfer goodie bags.
USDA to End the "Farmers to Families" Food Box Program in May
After reviewing the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, the Biden-Harris Administration has made the decision to discontinue the program in May. This program helped deliver nearly 133 million boxes of food in 2020 and played a helping hand to curb the rising hunger crisis in America. In 2020, the USDA spent six times its normal emergency food budget on the Farmers to Families Food Box Program due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. In addition to its high cost, the program also faced uneven distribution nationwide, which left some rural communities underserved. Tom Vilsack, the newly appointed U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, is now looking to redirect tax dollars to focus on different hunger initiatives, including expanding food stamp benefits and increasing food purchases through existing government food distribution programs. Source: Michael Best Strategies
Vilsack: Creating Revenue Streams Key to Farmer-Friendly Climate Solutions

US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says despite the threat climate change poses, it has the potential to positively change the direction of US agriculture and create prosperity in rural communities. “Opportunity number one is to take the lead in this issue of sustainability, regenerative practices, climate change, soil health and basically show the way to the rest of the country. We can step up first, we can step up fast and we can be successful.” During a Free Range Conversation Wednesday hosted by American Farmland Trust Vilsack says creating additional revenue streams will be key for farmers. “Creating ways in which agricultural waste can be converted into a multitude of new products, to movie away from fossil fuels, to create a more circular and more regenerative economy. We think American agriculture is ready for this. Read More

Source: Michael Best Strategies
Conference Committee Meetings to Begin as Legislative Session Enters Homestretch

As the GOP-led Senate and the DFL-led House of Representatives continue to pass the last of the omnibus budget bills, conference committees will begin meeting this week to hash out the differences in bills that were passed during the past several weeks. Conference committees are comprised of five members from each the House and Senate who will advocate for their body's position on the provisions contained in their respective omnibus bills. With significant differences between theHouse and Senate in most of the omnibus bills, it will be a long month ahead for these lawmakers to reconcile their differences and produce a conference committee report that will earn the signature of Gov. Tim Walz.

There is also a notable difference in fiscal philosophy between the two parties. The Senate GOP budget proposals contain no tax increases and state agency spending cuts, while the budget proposal offered by the House DFL and Gov. Walz includes a host of tax and fee increases that are non-starters with the GOP. Read More

Source: AgriGrowth
FDA Reports Two of Four Outbreak Investigations Remain Active

The table below shows outbreak investigations being managed by FDA’s CORE Response Teams. The investigations are in a variety of stages. Some outbreaks have limited information with investigations ongoing, others may be near completion. The Food and Drug Administration will issue public health advisories for outbreak investigations that have resulted in specific, actionable steps for consumers — such as throwing out or avoiding specific foods — to take to protect themselves, according to the outbreak table page. Not all recalls and alerts result in an outbreak of foodborne illness. Read More

Source: Michael Best Strategies
Frozen Food Retail Sales Recap from March

Throughout March, frozen foods remained highly elevated versus pre-pandemic 2019 levels, at +21.1%. With the exception of prepared vegetables, all areas tracked ahead of the 2019 pre-pandemic sales levels. The sales increase was driven by frozen breakfast solutions, meat, poultry and seafood. For more detailed sales figures and additional information, read the March retail insights report here.

Source: AFFI
Survey: Majority of Packaging, Processing Professionals Feel In-person Trade Shows are Essential

A recent poll of packaging and processing professors conducted by PMMI showed nearly nine of 10 respondents feel in-person trade shows are essential for networking and discovering new products and technology. Read More


The Increasing Focus on Food Safety Culture

President Joe Biden's administration announced an increase in the number of temporary seasonal workers who will be allowed to work in the U.S. this year as the U.S. economy recovers from the pandemic. The Department of Homeland Security said the U.S. would approve an additional 22,000 H2-B seasonal worker visas on top of the annual limit of 66,000 set by Congress.  Read More

Source: CLFP
Enlist Your Plant Floor Workers in the Fight Against Pests

Plant floor workers are a plant’s first line of defense against bugs and other unwanted visitors. With the right training and proper procedures in place, workers can play a significant role in preventing, detecting and taking action against pests. Read More

Source: e-news

Biden Approves 22,000 Additional Foreign Seasonal Workers

Numerator has launched a COVID-19 Buyer Habit Index that reveals which segments showed the most "stickiness" in terms of consumer purchasing behavior, or are most likely to see long-term or permanent shifts, according to a press release. The index tracks categories including alcohol, baking and cooking, beverages, meat and snacks. Read More

Source: CLFP

What Should You Do with Your COVID Vaccination Card?
The small, white card you got after your COVID shot is an important document. And it could become even more important in your day to day life in the future. “Requirements for vaccination are happening at sort or larger levels, so for example the Buffalo Bills requiring vaccination for fans attending the game, colleges and universities around the country are making such announcements. I’m not seeing that so much at the local level,” said Ajay Sethi, an Associate Professor in Population Health Sciences at UW-Madison. While the World Health Organization and federal government try to work out what a vaccination passport might look like, your vaccination card is the only physical proof you have. Read More

Source: WMC
Significant Increase in Cybersecurity Threats: Are You Prepared?
The pandemic created a breeding ground for hackers and bad actors. At the outset in March 2020, many companies viewed the move to remote work as temporary. And they reacted accordingly, doing whatever it took to get employees up and running in remote environments. But this move to remote work increased cybersecurity threats. Individuals’ home networks lack the protections of a company network. Personal computers are more vulnerable than company-issued and -managed equipment. Further, some employees took sensitive files home, and financial professionals were handling company money with less oversight. At the same time, many companies failed to update their financial controls. Read More

Source: WMC
The Boom in Grocery Sales During the Pandemic Hasn't Been Spread Evenly
Store-brand supplier TreeHouse Foods has stumbled even as many of the big names in packaged foods have thrived, the WSJ’s Annie Gasparro reports, thanks to troubles in supply chains that were built for stable markets but then faltered amid turbulent demand. TreeHouse ran into more capacity constraints and supply-chain problems than well-known brands because of coronavirus outbreaks, and price cuts were delayed while labor, shipping and materials prices got more expensive. Part of the problem was that consumers early in the pandemic rushed toward more familiar brands. TreeHouse CEO Steve Oakland says the company was ill-prepared for upheaval, with its supply chain “designed for tremendous efficiency but very low volatility.” TreeHouse is adjusting by simplifying operations, including getting rid of 11 factories and slashing product assortment, but its longer-term focus will be getting more nimble. Read More

Source: Wall Street Journal Logistics Report
Small Food Companies Seen Thriving Post-Pandemic
The total consumer packaged goods industry grew about 10.4% in 2020, outpacing the prior three-year annual growth rate of 1.8%, according to Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Information Resources Inc.'s (IRI) annual CPG Growth Leaders List. The report found mid ($1 billion to $6 billion in annual sales), small ($100 million to $1 billion), extra-small (less than $1 billion) and private label CPG manufacturers gained significant market share over larger manufacturers in 2020. Read More

Source: CLFP
Some Wisconsinites Who Declined to Return to Unsafe Jobs Could be UI-Eligible

Tens of thousands of people in Wisconsin whose applications for COVID-19 pandemic unemployment benefits were denied could be eligible for up to 79 weeks of unemployment payments. 

There are three main categories of newly eligible workers: 

  • Those who declined to return to work at a site that wasn't complying with COVID-19 safety standards, such as requiring face masks and physical distancing
  • Those working for an educational institution who became unemployed or partially unemployed after COVID-19 scrambled workers' schedules
  • Those who were laid off or had their hours reduced as a result of COVID-19 measures, including restaurant workers

DWD is sending letters to 28,000 who were denied pandemic UI under old criteria, following Biden EO and USDOL guidance. "We know thousands of Wisconsinites, many of whom have pre-existing conditions, did not feel safe returning to work as the pandemic swept across our state if their employers chose not to enforce safety precautions," said Secretary Pechacek. WUAG's Times-Rainwater said relatively few will qualify for all 79 weeks because worker-employer conflicting stories will require lengthy adjudication. PUA beneficiaries may also qualify for new benefits.  Read More

Source: WisPolitics
Start Your Day with Vegetables

Finding a way to fit vegetables into your brunch can be challenging. Because let’s face it, a side of broccoli isn’t exactly the most appealing accompaniment to a bowl of oatmeal. But a brunch that includes vegetables will help you get the most satisfaction out of your morning. Looking for some recipes? Here are some ideas to get you started. START HERE!

Source: PBH Foundation

How To Make Vegetables Taste Good

If you’re aiming to increase your intake of nourishing, colorful vegetables, check out these flavor pairings and cooking strategies from Have A Plant® Ambassador Cara Harbstreet, RD for making vegetables taste so good you won't want to eat anything else! Read More
Source: PBH Foundation
Sesame Food Allergen Labeling Bill Passed by US House, Heads to President
The US House of Representatives has voted on and passed a piece of legislation — the FASTER Act — that would make sesame the ninth ingredient subject to mandatory allergen labeling in the U.S. The bill now heads to President Joe Biden to be signed into law. Read More

Source: CLFP
Bringing Broadband to All Rural Americans Could Cost Up to $150 Billion
President Biden proposed $100 billion in his infrastructure plan to make high-speed internet available throughout America, but industry officials said at a congressional hearing on Tuesday that it could cost up to $150 billion to fill the gaps in coverage in rural America, where service is slower and spottier than in cities. The price tag could vary, depending on the equipment that is used – fiber optic vs. wireless, for example – and the speed of connectivity. “It’s essential we act to finally close the digital divide that has kept so many of our rural communities from reaching their full potential,” said House Agriculture chairman David Scott in opening the hearing. The Georgia Democrat has said he may draft a rural broadband bill that could advance on its own or become part of infrastructure legislation. Read More

Source: Michael Best Strategies
Businesses are Struggling to Hire Workers-and Say Uncle Sam is to Blame
Workers are hard to find despite the vaccination rollout and a stubbornly high unemployment rate — and business owners say Uncle Sam is to blame.

Sean Macari, owner of a job recruitment company in Albany, is among a growing number of employers grappling with a perversely tight labor market as the economy heats up — despite an unemployment rate of 6 percent. It has many employers convinced that they’re unfairly competing against federal stimulus benefits that, combined with regular unemployment checks, stand to pay workers as much or even more than they might get from a job. Read More

Source: WMC
Poll Reveals What Sustainability Means to Consumers
More than 80% of consumers consider a food or beverage's sustainability before purchasing it and more than one-third of people aged 18 to 44 consider sustainability "extremely important," according to a C.O.nxt and Menu Matters survey. The poll also found nearly half of participants understand the term sustainability to encompass not only the environment but economic and social issues. Read More

Source: CBA
OSHA Not Likely to Immediately Issue Emergency Temporary Standard Related to Covid-19
Labor Secretary Marty Walsh recently indicated that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is under the purview of the Department of Labor (DOL), will not be immediately issuing an emergency temporary standard related to COVID-19. The DOL will be looking at the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on vaccines and the variants of COVID-19 when considering the creation of a potential standard. This is important and positive news for manufacturers as a one-size fits all mandate related to an ETS would be costly and burdensome to comply with. ABI is appreciative of the efforts the National Association of Manufacturers, our national partner, is putting forward on this and so many other business issues before the Biden Administration and Congress.

Source: ABI
MN House OK's Tax Plan with Breaks for Some, Hikes for Others
With no votes to spare, the Minnesota House passed a bill Thursday that creates a new income tax bracket and provides targeted help to people and businesses financially affected by COVID-19 disruptions. It won’t be the last word in a session budget debate. The House bill must be matched up with a considerably different Senate plan, which doesn’t raise taxes, that’s scheduled for a vote next week. Read More

Source: MN Chamber
The Increasing Focus on Food Safety Culture
There is industry consensus that establishing a successful food safety culture requires a top-down approach, with the leadership team prioritizing the identification and maintenance of practices to influence attitudes and modify behavior, in all areas of a company. Promoting a collective mindset of greater vigilance and individual responsibility can improve performance in a supportive environment.  

Source: e-news
Biden's Climate Goal Would End American Coal
Coal will need to disappear, electrification of cars and buildings must rapidly accelerate, and oil consumption has to wane if the United States hopes to cut its emissions in half over the next decade, experts say. That outline comes as President Biden sets the nation on a path to slash emissions 50-52% by 2030 to avert the worst effects of climate change. The magnitude of those actions is unprecedented in U.S. history and stands to reverberate through the power sector, transportation systems and industrial businesses.  Read More

Source: Michael Best Strategies
Are Consumers Ready to Ditch Plastic?
"Plastic has emerged as the primary target in the global outcry over waste in the environment, and mismanaged plastic can have devastating consequences especially to our marine environment," said Consumer Brands' Meghan Stasz in The CPG Post-Pandemic Outlook. "But making plastic the sole focus of our ire and action ignores other critical components that will determine our success or failure at keeping waste out of the environment." To her point, most Americans (59%) want to see a mix of packaging types, further stressing the need to fix America's broken recycling system. For the full report and to learn what else the Consumer Brands/Ipsos poll revealed, Read More.

Source: CBA
CPG Brands Must Identify Sesame on Labels Beginning 2023
President Joe Biden has signed a bill into law that requires food and beverage producers to clearly label sesame as an allergen ingredient on packaging starting Jan. 1, 2023. The FASTER Act also authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services to prioritize research on food allergies. Read More

Source: CBA

General Mills Connects Sustainability with Financing

General Mills is the first consumer packaged goods company in the US to establish a revolving line of credit with financial partners that is linked to the progress it makes with sustainability initiatives. "Integrating General Mills' environmental impact metrics into this financing structure underscores our commitment to drive resilience for the planet, its resources and its people," said Kofi Bruce, General Mills' chief financial officer.

Conagra Invest $15M in DSD

Conagra Brands has invested $15 million in its transportation infrastructure to meet increased demand and avoid inventory shortages, said Chief Financial Officer David Marberger. Changes include shifting distribution to a direct-store-delivery model to "best service demand for certain brands," according to Marberger.

USDA to Incentivize Purchase of Fruits & Vegetables Under WIC for 4 Months with American Rescue Plan Funding

Participants in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) may soon see a temporary increase to their benefits for the purchase of fruits and vegetables. With $490 million provided by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, USDA has offered states, tribal nations and territories the option of boosting the cash-value voucher benefit by more than three times the current amount for up to four months to provide additional relief during this difficult time. “To more effectively promote heathier eating patterns, we need to promote nutrition security alongside food security to ensure all people at all times have access to nutritious foods and beverages that meet their nutritional needs for an active and healthy life,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Nowhere is nutrition security more important than in our WIC program to support mothers and young children.” Read More

Source: Michael Best Strategies
Why More Brands Are Using Private Fleets to Move Product

The pandemic-related surge in e-commerce has driven more consumer packaged goods companies to ship product via private fleets, writes Katerina Jones, senior director of marketing and business development at Fleet Advantage. "Operating a private fleet provides control over service levels, guarantees availability and increasingly assures cost competitive transportation alternatives regardless of market conditions," according to a National Private Truck Council survey. Read More

Source: CBA
Summit Reception Sponsor
Lakeside Foods

Gold Sponsor
Lyco Manufacturing

19th Hole Sponsor
Seneca Foods Corporation

Silver Sponsors
Bush Brothers & Company
Crown Cork & Seal
Silgan Containers

Scholarship Hole Sponsors
Seneca Foods Corporation
Trivium Packaging

Bronze Sponsors
Alliant Energy
Anderson Chemical Company
Bonduelle USA
Chippewa Valley Bean Company
Hydrite Chemical
Oxbo International
Syngenta Vegetable Seeds

Lunch Sponsors
JP Cullen
ProEx Food

Hole Sponsors
Crown Cork & Seal
Gallatin Valley Seed
Harris Moran
Lubriplate Lubricants
M3 Insurance
Pearl Engineering
Plainfield Trucking
Seminis Vegetable Seeds
Summit Refrigeration
Superior Transport & Logistics
Syngenta Vegetable Seeds


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Mark Your Calendar
May 6 - Elements of a Great Leader
Presenter: intRAtrain by Russell Associates

May 20 - Clean Water Technology with MST/A - A Recipe for Great Operation & Maintenance
Presenter: Clean Water Tech

June 2-3 - Annual Spring Summit & Scramble
June 2nd - SUMMIT: The Board of Directors, AMO/Convention Committees and Raw Products Committee will be meeting in-person at the Kalahari Convention Center the day prior to the golf scramble. (Request for RSVPs at a later date.)

June 3rd - SCRAMBLE: Back by popular demand, the highly anticipated annual in-person golf outing! Trappers Turn, Wisconsin Dells
June 10 - Webinar presentation by JJ Keller

November 30-December 2 - Annual Convention & Processing Crops Conference, Kalahari Convention Center, Wisconsin Dells

Exhibitor Registration Opens July 1