Bi-Monthly Newsletter of the

Midwest Food Products Association

February 15, 2023 Issue

Featured Event

MWFPA is hosting an Energy Management Seminar on March 23, 2023 at Glacier Canyon Conference Center in Wisconsin Dells.

Register below:



Grassley Continuing Push for Legislation on Foreign Ownership of Farmland

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is among those continuing to push for additional regulations regarding foreign ownership of American farmland. Both chambers of Congress have passed or are currently reviewing legislation, including the Foreign Adversary Risk Management, or FARM, Act recently introduced in the U.S. House by Iowa Congressman Randy Feenstra. Additionally, during his weekly press call, Grassley says he and Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin were able to get the Farmland Security Act of 2022 passed, which bolstered the 1978 Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act. "That (bill) requires the report of sales of farmland to foreign ownership," said Grassley. "That legislation has been improved by the Senator from Wisconsin and myself -- beefing it up so that it is more up to date and everything." MORE

Source:  MBS

How the Food Traceability Rule Will Impact Food Processors, Part 1

In November 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published its Final Food Traceability Rule, Requirements for Additional Traceability Records for Certain Foods, as mandated by Congress under FSMA Section 204. As stated in the rulemaking announcement released by FDA, the Traceability Rule requires companies that manufacture, process, pack, or hold foods listed on the Food Traceability List (FTL) to maintain detailed records on their supply chain and suppliers, including "Key Data Elements" (KDEs) about how those supplies are handled and processed. The Traceability Rule regulates processors of foods on the FTL, which include fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, shell eggs, nut butters, ready-to-eat deli salads, cheeses, and seafood products. The Traceability Rule applies to foods on the FTL, but a further stated aim of the rule is to encourage the voluntary adoption of these tracing records for all food products. MORE

Source: CLFP

Congress’ ‘Biggest Fight’ Over Climate? It’s The Farm Bill.

Forget electric vehicles, wind turbines or pipelines. Congress’ most consequential climate battles this year are more likely to revolve around dirt and cows. The five-year farm bill is scheduled to expire by Oct. 1, making it one of the few must-pass legislative items under this divided Congress. The Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee on Wednesday is holding its first hearing on the legislation, with many more to follow in both chambers. MORE

Source: MBS

Billions In Federal Farm Payments Flow to A Select Group of Producers, Report Shows

The top 10% of recipients of federal farm payments raked in more than 79% of total subsidies over the last 25 years — producing billions of dollars for a relatively small group of U.S. producers, according to a new analysis of federal data from an environmental group. In total, the federal government paid more than $478 billion from 2015 to 2021 in farm support for crop insurance, disasters, conservation payments and subsidies for certain crops such as corn and soybeans, according to the analysis of federal data the Environmental Working Group released Wednesday. The U.S. Agriculture Department programs support hundreds of thousands of producers across the country. But a select group of super collectors is bringing in an outsized portion of farm subsidies. The top 1% collected 27% of total subsidies between 1995 and 2021, according to the report. MORE

Source: MBS

Republicans Try Congressional Path to Repeal WOTUS

In a long-shot tactic, Republicans in the Senate and House pressed on Thursday for a vote to overturn the Biden administration’s Waters of the United States rule, which spells out the upstream reach of water pollution laws. It was the third WOTUS rule to be issued in less than a decade. The Supreme Court is expected to rule in coming weeks on an Idaho case that would greatly limit federal protection of wetlands. West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said the resolutions of disapproval filed by Republicans “would stop this misguided overreach by the Biden administration” and “give every member of Congress the chance to stand with farmers, ranchers, landowners, and builders.” All 49 Republican senators, including Capito, sponsored the Senate resolution. In the House, where Republicans hold 222 seats, the resolution had 152 sponsors. MORE

Source: MBS

Column: U.S. Agriculture Exports Top $200 Billion In 2022 As China Grabs Record Share

The United States’ exports of agricultural and related products hit record levels by value in 2022, though higher prices played a big role as volumes across some major items like grain and meat were down on the year. U.S. farm exports were valued at $213 billion last year, up from the prior high of $192 billion set in 2021. MORE

Source: MBS

Students Encouraged to Apply for MWFPA Scholarships!

The Midwest Food Products Association Scholarship awards scholarships to deserving children of parents or guardians who are employees of MWFPA processor and associate member companies.

Scholarship recipients are high school senior or post-secondary students accepted into, or attending any post-secondary school, in the United States. This includes institutions of higher education including vocational and technical colleges, two-and four-year colleges and private trade schools. Winning applicants may attend these schools with any major of study.

2023 MWFPA Scholarship award recipients will receive $1,500.

MWFPA Processor and Associate Members - help us spread the word!

View more information or download an application by visiting the link!

Advertise Your Business with the

Midwest Food Products Association in 2023 - Click HERE or Below!

Job Openings Jumped Unexpectedly to 11 Million in December

Despite the looming threat of recession and the cacophony of mass layoff announcements, US businesses still need workers — 11.01 million of them. The number of available jobs unexpectedly rose in December, climbing from a revised 10.44 million openings in November and exceeding economists’ expectations of 10.25 million, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Wednesday. The 11 million openings for December is the highest since July. The largest increases in job openings were in accommodation and food services, which were up 409,000; retail trade, up 134,000; and construction, up 82,000, according to the BLS report. The latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, showed the labor market that entered 2022 red-hot had finished up the year still balmy: There were 1.9 available jobs for every person looking for one. MORE

Source: IMA

US Adds a Surprisingly Strong 517,000 Jobs Despite Fed Hikes 

For nearly a year, the Federal Reserve has been on a mission to cool down the job market to help curb the nation’s worst inflation bout in four decades. The job market hasn’t been cooperating. Consider what happened in January: The government said Friday that employers added a sizzling 517,000 jobs last month and that the unemployment rate dipped to 3.4%, the lowest level since 1969. The job gain was so large it left economists scratching their heads and wondering why the Fed’s aggressive interest rate hikes haven’t slowed hiring at a time when many foresee a recession nearing. MORE

Source: MN Chamber

FDA Will Streamline Food Safety and Regulation Under a Single Leader

FDA will restructure its Human Foods program, consolidating all functions and employees under a new deputy commissioner. This will bring the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, the Office of Food Policy and Response and some functions of the Office of Regulatory Affairs under a single leader. In the new structure, FDA will add a Center of Excellence in Nutrition to prioritize the agency’s efforts to improve consumers’ food choices, and an Office of Integrated Food Safety System Partnerships to better integrate food safety and response activities with state and local regulators. It will also add an external advisory committee to talk to FDA about present and upcoming issues in food safety, nutrition and technologies. This change was among recommendations made in an independent investigation of the program done by the Reagan-Udall Foundation. Commissioner Robert Califf requested the investigation in July, after structural problems at the department were exposed by a massive baby formula recall and shortage. MORE

Source: MBS

Coalition has Many Questions about how FDA Commissioner will Protect Consumers with New Organizational Chart

OPINION: As a broad coalition of FDA stakeholders, including industry and consumer groups and state food regulators, we appreciate the attention you have given to the problems in FDA’s Foods Program, which were highlighted in the Reagan-Udall Foundation (RUF) report in December. We also are appreciative of your acknowledgment in your January 31 announcement that the Foods Program requires a leadership and management structure that enables it to fulfill its mission and is distinctive from the medical product programs…. Based on our understanding of this plan, it is difficult to reconcile this proposal with the analysis and findings in the RUF report. All five of the report’s structural options included unifying ORA’s operational functions with other elements of the Foods Program in a direct line reporting relationship to the top program leader. We are concerned that the plan does not include that, and thus does not create a unified foods program under a single leader. MORE


Source: CBA


with WI DNR

March 16, 2023

MWFPA members are encouraged to mark their calendars and register for the annual March 16th gathering of industry MWFPA and WI Cheese Makers environmental staff and regulators from Wisconsin's DNR.

This in-person meeting, with a live online option, will cover hot topics in environmental regulation and WPDES permitting, with joint presentations by agency staff and industry experts. The event will be hosted at the Hilton Garden Inn in Sun Prairie and begin with 9:30 a.m. registration and close at 2:30 p.m. Continuing education credits are available for certified wastewater operators who attend the full event.

Registration is $45 for in-person attendance and $25 for online participation. MWFPA members are encouraged to attend, but space is limited, so sign up soon! For more information, please click the link above or reach out to or call (608) 255-9946.

The Stockout: USDA Issues New Regulations on Sugar in School Meals for 1st Time

This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced new regulations for school meals — both breakfast and lunch — set to begin for the 2024-25 academic year and tighten in the upcoming years. The new regulations will limit sugar and sodium while requiring greater use of whole grains. Previously, there were no regulations for sugar in school lunches on a national level, only fats (including trans fats). The previous focus on limiting fats in lunches was seemingly counterproductive, resulting in foodservice companies’ greater use of sugar to compensate for the lower fat content. MORE

Source: MBS

General Mills Taps Fridge Tech for Consumer Insights

General Mills is partnering with Smarter, which generates consumer insights related to daily consumption patterns via its FridgeCam technology that also promotes brand connections by making recipe and grocery list suggestions based on what's in the fridge. MORE

Source: CBA

Finstad Named Chairman of Agriculture Subcommittee

Rep. Brad Finstad will serve as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Nutrition, Foreign Agriculture, and Horticulture for the 118th Congress, according to a press release. Finstad (MN-01) was also named to the Subcommittee on Military Personnel and the Subcommittee on Readiness by House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (AL-03). MORE

MWFPA Will Join F&B Industry 4.0 Experts in Chicago

MWFPA is delighted to be partnering with the Smart Manufacturing for Food & Beverage Summit on 28 March 2023 in Chicago, IL.

The Food & Beverage industry is currently experiencing an unprecedented change, with recent reports suggesting that the industry will grow to $856.9 billion by 2025. To cope with this rise in demand, manufacturers are keen to accelerate their digital transformation journey. However, navigating the complex journey towards industry 4.0 requires a clear vision, decisive leadership, and technology-oriented culture.

Heads of Smart Manufacturing, Industry 4.0, and Manufacturing Operations are attending the Smart Manufacturing for Food & Beverage Summit to hear the latest technologies and strategies to optimize production.

The confirmed speakers include:

• Lothar Lang, Senior Leader Process Control and Automation, Cargill

• Deepak Jose, Global Head of ODDA Analytics Solutions, Senior Director, Mars

• Alberto Cozer, Senior BRM/FRM, Business Process Automation, Nestle

• Chavis Ferguson, Vice President of Operations, Coast Packing Company

• Daniel Stauft, Director of Operational Technology, SugarCreek

Gain the necessary tools to develop an industry 4.0 roadmap to overcome current challenges and accomplishes business objectives. Find out more and register here.

Use PARTNER15 to save 15% on your pass.

DFL House and Senate Introduce Bonding Bill

“Rep. Fue Lee (DFL - Minneapolis) and Sen. Sandy Pappas (DFL - St. Paul), the House and Senate Chairs of their respective Capital Investment Committees, unveiled legislation for a Bonding Bill. The legislation is based largely on the bipartisan agreement for capital investment reached near the end of the 2022 legislative session. A spreadsheet of proposed investments can be found here.” MORE

Source: Fluence Media

Why Walz Wants to Spend $276M on Broadband on Top of Nearly $1 Billion in Federal Funds

Renewed interest in public funding to subsidize construction of high-speed internet infrastructure in rural areas since the COVID-19 pandemic began has resulted in gobs of broadband money in Minnesota — at least compared to what used to be spent on the issue. But the oodles of cash, mostly approved by the federal government over the last few years, is still not enough for Minnesota to meet its latest broadband goals, according to state officials. So, Gov. Tim Walz’s administration has proposed spending another $276 million in the two-year budget. The money would propel the state toward its goal of having universal access to high-speed internet by 2026, which might cost $426 million in the next four years, according to one estimate by the state’s broadband task force. MORE


Source: Fluence Media

Heart Health: It's in The Can

Are you wondering if it's really possible to make a delicious heart-healthy meal with the canned foods you have at home? Big Y registered dietitian Andrea Luttrell is here to tell you that yes, you certainly can! MORE

Source: PBH Foundation

Minnesota Senate Passes '100 Percent by 2040' Bill

Late Thursday night, Minnesota lawmakers passed a bill designed to cut carbon emissions statewide while creating more clean-energy jobs. If the bill is signed by Governor Tim Walz, Minnesota utilities would be obligated to transition to 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040 to step up the fight against climate change under a bill speeding through the Legislature. MORE

Source: Fluence Media

Minnesota House Passes "Universal" School Meals, Providing Free Breakfast, Lunch to Students

The Minnesota House passed a bill on Thursday guaranteeing free lunch and breakfast to all Minnesota students, regardless of income requirements set by a federal program. It's a move advocates say will reduce child hunger and ensure no kid falls through the cracks. The vote was 70-58. "We're going to give them the tools they need to succeed in school and that means food," said Rep. Sydney Jordan, DFL-Minneapolis. The federal government pays for free or reduced priced meals but there are income limits for who qualifies. Under this bill, the state would pick up the tab for the difference of covering everyone else, which is estimated to be $388 million in the next two-year budget. MORE

Source: Fluence Media

2023 MWFPA Sporting Clays Classic


The 2023 MWFPA Sporting Clays Classic Event has been scheduled for Tuesday October 10th!

Our venue this year will be

Woods and Meadow Hunting Preserve in

Warrens, Wisconsin.

Two And a Half Million Pounds Of Kroger, Great Value, Goya, And More Brands Of Canned Meat Recalled Nationwide Over Packaging Defect

Conagra Brands, Inc., of Fort Madison, Iowa, is recalling approximately 2,581,816 pounds of canned meat and poultry products because of a packaging defect that may cause the products to become contaminated without showing any outward signs of contamination, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced. Recalled brands include Armour, Kroger, Goya, Prairie Belt, Hargis House, Grace, and Great Value. MORE

Source: MBS

Eat Your Heart Out

In honor of American Heart Month and National Canned Food Month, Coborn's registered dietitian Amy Petersen is sharing a few of her favorite ways to fill your plate and fuel your heart with colorful canned fruits and veggies. MORE

Source: PBH Foundation

Upcoming Meetings & Events

February 27-28 - OSHA 10-HOUR

Registration link HERE - only 8 seats left!

Glacier Canyon Conference Center, Wisconsin Dells

March 16 - MWFPA/WCMA Environmental Committee Meeting with WI DNR

Registration link HERE

Hilton, Sun Prairie

March 23 - Energy Management Seminar

Glacier Canyon Conference Center, Wisconsin Dells

March 31 - MWFPA Scholarship applications due

April 20 - Friday/Weckel Scholarship applications due

April 27 - Sanitation Seminar

Glacier Canyon Conference Center, Wisconsin Dells

May 31 & June 1 - MWFPA Annual Summit & Scramble

Trappers Turn, Wisconsin Dells

October 10 - Sporting Clays Classic

Woods & Meadow Hunting Preserve

Warrens, Wisconsin

November 28 - 30 - 2023 Convention & Processing Crops Conference

Kalahari Resort & Convention Center, Wisconsin Dells




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