February 1, 2024 Issue


Safety Seminar, February 15th

The upcoming Safety Seminar will be held on February 15th at

The Lodge in Mauston, in Mauston, WI. Topics include:

  • Building a Safety Culture
  • Effectively Communicating Risk
  • “BOOT” Camp Crash Course
  • Arc Flash Awareness
  • Preparing for the Unknown
  • Fall Protection and Machine Guarding
  • Exploring OSHA’s Tops 10 Food Manufacturing Violations
  • Managing OSHA Investigations



Congress Passes Stopgap Spending Measure to Dodge Friday Shutdown Threat on January 18

The House and the Senate have both approved a stopgap spending bill to fund the government through early March. The bill now heads to President Biden's desk for a signature. With some federal agencies, including those that oversee agriculture, transportation, and veterans' services, set to run out of funding Friday night at midnight and a winter storm headed toward the nation’s capital, lawmakers were under pressure to finish their work and leave town. The new spending measure maintains a two-tier structure where some agencies would run out of money on March 1 and others would remain funded through March 8. MORE

Source: MN Chamber


Economy Grew at a Surprisingly Strong 3.3% Pace Last Quarter, Pointing to Continued Resilience

The nation’s economy grew at an unexpectedly brisk 3.3% annual pace from October through December as Americans showed a continued willingness to spend freely despite high interest rates and price levels that have frustrated many households. MORE

Source: MN Chamber

Click Here for Pack & Inspect Group

Advocacy Groups Are Petitioning for The End of SNAP Interview Requirements

Student and legal advocacy groups are petitioning the U.S. Department of Agriculture to lift the interview requirement for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) applicants to receive food aid. The groups argue the interview requirement is burdensome and prevents those who qualify for food aid from receiving it. The National Student Legal Defense Network, the Center for Law and Social Policy, and the California Student Aid Commission are among the organizations calling for its removal. MORE


Source: MBS


Consumer Brands Reacts to Proposed EPA Packaging Rules

The EPA is proposing more stringent criteria for its Safer Choice program, including requiring packaging to be reusable or recyclable and contain a certain percentage of recycled content, depending on the material. While the Consumer Brands Association appreciates the EPA's efforts to improve packaging recycling, it cautions that "manufacturers have little control over the PCR content from suppliers, and ultimately there may be trace amounts of certain substances present at incidental levels that prove difficult to detect or wholly mitigate." MORE

Source: CBA

Click Here for Teledyne TapTone

Most Companies Must File Beneficial Ownership Report this Year with US Treasury

The federal Corporate Transparency Act will require most active corporations, LLCs, and other businesses formed by filing with secretary of state offices to file a beneficial ownership report with the US Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) through FinCEN’s website. Companies created prior to 2024 must report by January 1, 2025. Companies created in 2024 must report within 90 days. Failure to report will result in fines of up to $500 per day. Some organizations are exempt: publicly-traded companies, banks and financial institutions, tax-exempt non-profits, public entities, and some large businesses. Contact FinCEN, or your attorney to confirm whether your business is required to report. Be aware, there are scammers posing as FinCEN that are trying to get your information—do not respond to any unsolicited communications!

Source: Food NW

Crop-Killing Weeds Advance Across U.S. Farmland as Chemicals Lose Effectiveness

Crop-killing weeds such as kochia are advancing across the U.S. northern plains and Midwest, in the latest sign that weeds are developing resistance to chemicals faster than companies including Bayer and Corteva can develop new ones to fight them. In many cases weeds are developing resistance against multiple herbicides, scientists said. MORE


Source: Constitution Partners

Click Here for Forward Food Solutions

Second Harvest Heartland Announces Goal to Cut State Hunger in Half by 2030

Second Harvest Heartland, one of the largest food banks in the country, said it plans to cut the state’s growing hunger problem in half by 2030 through a new “care center” team connecting people to economic and social services and by identifying hunger hot spots. At an event Monday, Gov. Tim Walz, Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, Second Harvest Heartland officials and other partners gathered to announce the new “Make Hunger History” initiative. Second Harvest Heartland CEO Allison O’Toole said food shelf visits are climbing at record rates — from 3.5 million in 2021 to 7.5 million in 2023. MORE

Source: Fluence Media

Click for JAX

Gov. Walz's $982M Infrastructure Plan Addresses Water Systems, Housing and Public Safety

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday afternoon detailed his administration's 2024 infrastructure plan. The $982 million plan includes investments in water systems and transportation infrastructure, as well as infrastructure in housing and public safety. "The investments in our 2024 Infrastructure Plan are investments in the wellbeing and future of Minnesota," Walz said in a release. "We have an obligation to ensure every Minnesotan has access to clean water, well-maintained infrastructure, safe communities, and state buildings that are safe and accessible. MORE


Source: MBS

MN Again Hits a New Record Number of Food Shelf Visits

The state recorded more than 7.5 million food shelf visits, breaking 2022′s record by more than 2 million visits — a more than 30% increase. More Minnesotans also received food stamps in 2023 than any year since 2016, with an average of 447,000 residents a month enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). MORE

Source: MN Chamber

New Area Code Coming to Southern MN

It was forever known as the 507, but soon another area code will be joining southern Minnesota, 924. “In any area, when the phone numbers run out we need a new area code,” Minnesota Public Utilities Commission rates analyst Sally Anne McShane said. MORE

Source: MN Chamber

Click for Clean Water Technology

Celebration of Life for George Klacan to be held on Friday, February 2 in River Falls, Wisconsin

Dr. George Robert Klacan passed unexpectedly at home on January 24, 2024 at the age of 90.

George was born November 26, 1933 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to parents George and Alma. He met his future wife, Mary Lou Kirchner, in high school and took her to senior prom; they married in 1955. He completed his undergraduate degree in Soils at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before being drafted into the US Navy. Following his military service in Hawaii, a mentor encouraged George to return to school and seek his doctoral degree. After completing his Ph.D. in Soils in 1962, he began a storied career at Green Giant in LeSueur, Minnesota. He retired from Green Giant in 1999 after many contributions to the science of food production, specializing in pest management and plant pathology. MORE

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Musk’s Satellite Army Has a New Target: Connecting The $183 B Farm Industry to High-Tech Ag Tools

Elon Musk’s high-flying SpaceX is expanding into a partnership with a decidedly grounded company: John Deere. Deere, one of the biggest names in American farming, plans to start offering Starlink-enabled farm equipment later this year, to give rural farmers better access to high-tech farming methods. MORE


Source: MBS

‘Truth in Maple Syrup’ Bill Goes After Corny Substitutes in Wisconsin Restaurants

Wisconsin restaurants would be forbidden from saying they serve maple syrup if it’s not the real thing under a bipartisan proposal being debated in the state Legislature. MORE

Senate Votes to Fire Evers Appointee to Public Service Commission

Republican state senators voted Tuesday to fire one of Gov. Tony Evers’ appointments to the state’s Public Service Commission, continuing a dispute with Evers over how government is run in Wisconsin and who gets to run it. Senators voted 21-11 to reject the confirmation of Tyler Huebner, who was appointed by Evers in 2020 and reappointed in 2021. Because the Senate never acted on Huebner’s appointment, he had been serving on the PSC for nearly four years without confirmation. MORE

Source: WisPolitics

Proposed Food Additive Ban in Illinois Would be Strictest in the Nation

A proposed bill that would ban certain food additives in Illinois is already receiving pushback. The Illinois Food Safety Act calls for prohibiting the use of certain additives to food, including brominated vegetable oil, Red Dye #3 and titanium dioxide. The bill’s sponsors said the additives have been linked to serious health problems, including hyperactivity, reproductive issues, hormonal damage and increased risk of cancer. “I want Illinoisans to be more confident when grocery shopping that they are not purchasing products that are laced with ingredients classified as toxic and harmful for human consumption,” said State Sen. Willie Preston, D-Chicago. MORE

Source: IMA

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Click Here for Lubrication Engineers

General Mills Takes Team Approach to Recyclable Packaging

General Mills is roughly "92% of the way" toward its goal of using only recyclable or reusable packaging by assembling a cross-disciplinary team to assess packaging data and drive recycling solutions, said R&D senior manager David Chmura. Those solutions include transitioning to recyclable Nature Valley bar wrappers and fiber-based microwaveable cups for its Annie's brand. MORE


Source: CBA

Ocean Spray, Absolut Celebrate Galentine's Day

Absolut and Ocean Spray are promoting their Vodka Cranberry Ready-To-Drink Cocktail with a Galentine's Day "Cran in a Can" kit, which comes with four cans of the drink, disco ball straws, a gift card for takeout and limited-edition co-branded Corkcicle Koozies. The brands tapped celebrity friends and hosts of the "Scrubbing In" podcast, Becca Tilley and Tanya Rad, to tout the cocktail kit. MORE


Source: CBA


Ocean Spray to Present "Offbeat" Branding

Ocean Spray aims to reach younger consumers with a brand refresh that positions Ocean Spray as "unapologetically offbeat," encompassing its logo, packaging and advertising, said Eliza Sadler, head of brand elevation. MORE

Source: CBA

Why Birds Eye Campaign is Casting a Wide Net

Conagra Brands' Birds Eye brand is taking a mass versus personalized approach with a new influencer campaign that touts the benefits of flash-frozen vegetables. "These are fast-moving purchases, and it's more important for us to continually build that mental availability for the brand," explained Alex Birchmeier, senior director of marketing activation at Conagra. MORE

Source: CBA

Conagra Brands, Dolly Parton Expand Partnership Beyond Duncan Hines

Building upon the success of a multiyear partnership with the Duncan Hines brand, Conagra Brands and global entertainment icon Dolly Parton have entered into an agreement to develop a line of Dolly Parton-branded retail food items, including frozen, refrigerated, grocery and snack items inspired by “down-home comfort cuisine,” in addition to more Dolly Parton baking mixes in the Duncan Hines line. MORE


Source: FoodProcessing.com


Food Waste Declined Slightly in 2022, but Progress was Limited: ReFED

Dive Brief: The United States generated about 88.7 million tons of surplus food in 2022, according to the latest data update from the nonprofit ReFED. The organization updated its Insights Engine in December. The updated data indicates U.S. residents wasted about 349 pounds of food per person last year. That’s down from the peak in 2021, but it represents a 5% increase in wasted food per capita since ReFED’s 2016 baseline. The U.S. still remains far behind its target of achieving 164 pounds of wasted food per person annually by 2030. About 36.7% of all surplus food was landfilled in 2022, increasing over the prior year for the third straight year. Meanwhile, ReFED estimates that 11% of food is “channeled back into the human food supply chain.” MORE


Source: CLFP


Repurposing Food Waste

With the growing world population, there is tremendous environmental stress on our planet because of the exploitation of non-renewable food and energy resources. To overcome these challenges, innovative approaches such as using renewable resources and repurposing waste are required to feed the current and future global population. MORE


Source: CLFP

6 Trends Driving Resiliency in 2024

Manufacturing's growing issue can be summed up in a single word: resiliency. In recent years, manufacturers and other industrial companies have proven to be dangerously vulnerable to external events, such as unforeseen fluctuations in demand, material costs and availability and energy prices. MORE

Source: CLFP

The Manufacturing Sector Experiences More Attacks in the Cloud than Any Other Industry

Netwrix, a cybersecurity vendor that makes data security easy, today revealed additional findings for the manufacturing sector from its survey of 1,610 IT and security professionals across more than 100 countries. According to the survey, 64% of companies in the manufacturing sector suffered a cyberattack during the preceding 12 months, which is similar to the finding among organizations overall (68%). However, it turned out that the manufacturing sector experiences more cloud infrastructure attacks than any other industry surveyed. MORE

Source: WMC

Save the Date! 2024 Meetings & Events

View 2024 MWFPA Sponsorship Opportunities - HERE

January - Friday/Weckel & MWFPA Scholarship application period open!

February 15 - Safety Seminar hosted at The Lodge at Mauston in Mauston, WI


February & March - Members contact MWFPA staff with directory listing updates

April 1 - MWFPA Scholarship Applications due

April 11 - Sanitation Seminar hosted at Food + Farm Exploration Center in Plover

May 1 - Friday/Weckel Scholarship Applications due

June 5 - MWFPA Spring Summit hosted at Kalahari Convention Center

June 6 - MWFPA Annual Scramble hosted at Trappers Turn

July/August/September - Raw Products/Haltvick meetings - dates TBA

October 8 - Sporting Clays Classic hosted at Woods & Meadow in Warrens, WI

December 3 - Processing Crops Conference

December 3-5 - MWFPA Convention & Expo

Kalahari Resort & Convention Center, Wisconsin Dells




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