January 15, 2024 Issue



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


Schumer and Johnson Release Text of Resolution to Avert Government Shutdown Ahead of Friday Deadline

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Mike Johnson unveiled legislation on Sunday night to keep the government funded into March, with Schumer saying he plans to take steps to move the legislation through his chamber as soon as Tuesday – just days before a key shutdown deadline. The text of a two-tiered continuing resolution, which would fund the government past both shutdown deadlines through March 1 and March 8, was released Sunday evening. The deal was reached just days before the first funding deadline of January 19. “The bipartisan topline funding agreement reached ensures that America will be able to address many of the major challenges our country faces at home and abroad,” Schumer said in a Sunday evening statement. MORE

Source: IMA

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US National Debt Surpasses $34T For First Time

The U.S. national debt surpassed $34 trillion for the first time last week, according to newly released data from the Treasury Department. The total public debt outstanding reached $34.001 trillion Friday, just more than three months after first crossing the $33 trillion mark. The latest milestone for the national debt comes as Congress faces even more spending deadlines as it returns in the new year after narrowly averting government shutdowns twice last fall. MORE

Source: Constitution Partners

Johnson Strikes His First Bipartisan Deal — a $1.7T Funding Accord

Congressional leaders have clinched a deal on overall budget totals that could pave the way for a broader government funding compromise in the coming weeks — further enraging Speaker Mike Johnson’s right flank. The long-stalled agreement, announced Sunday afternoon, establishes funding limits for the military and domestic programs for the fiscal year that began on Oct. 1, allowing House and Senate appropriators to begin hashing out their differences between a dozen annual spending bills. A partial government shutdown looms 12 days away. MORE

Source: IMA

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The Strength of The U.S. Dollar Is Contributing to Ag Export Woes

Inflation has Americans saying a dollar just doesn’t stretch as far as it used to. Similarly, when looking at the exchange rate and price of U.S. commodities, China is saying the yuan just doesn’t stretch as far as it used to. Relative to other currencies, the U.S. dollar has been strong the past couple of years, and experts say it is one factor hampering commodity exports. MORE

Source: Constitution Partners

U.S. Employers Added 216,000 Jobs in December

Hiring was better than expected as 2023 came to a close, with employers adding 216,000 new positions in December, while the unemployment rate held at 3.7 percent, near historic lows, according to the latest jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Economists’ expectations for job gains in December had been around 170,000. Hiring was revised down for the rest of the fourth quarter of 2023, with payrolls in November falling from 199,000 to 173,000 and in October from 150,000 to 105,000. MORE

Source: IMA

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US Sets Final Food Can Steel Dumping Duties on China, Canada, Germany, Korea

The department said on Friday that the highest final anti-dumping duties of 122.5% will be imposed on tin mill steel imported from China. It also imposed countervailing anti-subsidy duties of 650% on tin mill products from top China producer Baoshan Iron and Steel Co Ltd and 331.9% on all other Chinese steelmakers. MORE

Source: Constitution Partners

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What to Know About New Business Regulations in 2024

Regulations are a double-edged sword. They're created to improve business dealings, discourage unfair or illegal business activity, and protect workers. But, for small business owners, they often mean more red tape, higher costs and possible penalties for failing to comply. "For a small business, you have a higher cost per employee when it comes to complying with regulations than your larger business competitors," said Tom Sullivan, vice president of small business policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Heading into 2024, there are several regulations that should be on small business owners' radar. MORE

Source: CLFP

USDA Estimates 21 Million Kids Will Get Summer Food Benefits Through New Program In 2024

Nearly 21 million children in the U.S. and its territories are expected to receive food benefits this summer through a newly permanent federal program, the United States Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday. Thirty-five states, all five U.S. territories and four tribes opted into the Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer program, or Summer EBT, which the government says is meant to supplement existing programs during the summer that have had a more limited reach. MORE

Source: Constitution Partners

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How Much U.S. Farmland Do Foreign Entities Own?

Last October, Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin made headlines when he ordered Chinese-owned Syngenta Seeds to divest 160 research acres in Craighead County, a rare show of enforcement of a state law restricting foreign ownership of U.S. farmland and adding fuel to a fire already catching across the country. Foreign ownership of American farmland is likely to continue to be a hot topic of concern. As other states may follow Arkansas’s lead and Congress debates national approaches, it’s important to consider the context of this issue and whether or not the heat is overblown. MORE

Source: Constitution Partner

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EPA Proposes Plan to Better Protect Public Health from Pesticide Harms to Endocrine System

On Dec. 26, 2023, comments will be closing on a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed strategy to better screen pesticides and agricultural chemicals for harm to the human endocrine system. MORE

Source: CLFP

EPA Releases Proposed Revision to Meat & Poultry Effluent Guidelines

Highly anticipated proposal to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus and other pollutants in meat and poultry plant wastewater discharge takes steps to protect small processors, but some wish EPA did more sampling even for the large establishments. MORE

Source: FoodProcessing.com

Now in Effect, California’s Prop 12 Requires Humane Animal Practices

Regardless of where the animals were raised, all pork, eggs and veal sold in the state must come from farm animals raised under more humane housing conditions. After surviving several years of challenges, Proposition 12 went into effect in California on Jan. 1, although it has implications for all the states, indeed the entire world. MORE

Source: FoodProcessing.com

MN Hog Farmers Shoulder Weight of Adapting to California's Law

Todd Marotz oversees thousands of pigs at several farms in south-central Minnesota, but he guesses only 20% of those barns are compliant to send hogs to California. A new Golden State law took effect Jan. 1 that requires that any pork sold there must come from operations that offer livestock more space than in past practice. As the most populace state in America, California holds some sway over U.S. hog farmers, consuming about 14% of the nation's pork supply. MORE

Source: MBS

Ear-of-corn Tower Deemed Historic Rochester Landmark

The iconic ear-of-corn water tower that has been part of Rochester’s skyline for more than nine decades was designated as an official historic landmark. MORE

Source: Fluence Media

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WI Senate GOP Leader Working on Income Tax Cut for Families With up to $200,000 in Earnings

Income taxes would be cut for Wisconsin families earning up to about $200,000 under a plan being worked on by Senate Republicans, a GOP leader said Thursday. The proposal will be targeted at middle class families in an attempt to win the support of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. Details of the latest plan are still being worked out, but in general it would lower the tax on income between about $36,000 and around $200,000 for families from 5.3% to 4.4%, Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu said. MORE

Source: WMC

Consumers More Likely to Choose Vegan if it's Not Called 'Vegan'

There may be a simple way to convince meat eaters to consume vegan food, according to a new USC study: Don't call the food "vegan." Americans were far less likely to choose a gourmet gift basket without meat or dairy if it was labeled "vegan" or "plant-based," according to a nationally representative survey of more than 7,500 U.S. adults. MORE

Source: CLFP

IFT Releases White Paper on Sustainable Food Production

The Institute of Food Technologists, a nonprofit scientific organization committed to advancing the science of food and its application across the global food system, has released a white paper that examines how existing and novel processing technologies could help improve global food and nutrition security. MORE

Source: CLFP

Report Details Conveying Systems in Food and Beverage Industry

To provide food processors with insight into the industry's current challenges and opportunities, Cablevey Conveyors, a global specialty conveyor manufacturer, and Automated Handling Solutions, a service-focused subsidiary of Cablevey, have released results from an annual proprietary survey conducted among food processing companies. MORE

Source: CLFP

Brakebush Brothers Acquires Lake Foods to Expand its Processing Capabilities

Foodservice chicken processor Brakebush Brothers, Inc., has announced the acquisition of Lake Foods of Hartwell, GA, a portioning facility for raw, sized, marinated and ready-to-cook chicken products. The agreement was finalized on December 31, 2023. “We are very enthusiastic about this acquisition. The values, expertise, and capabilities of this facility put us in great position to continue to grow our existing customer base and aggressively pursue new business,” states Gregory Huff, Brakebush President & CEO. MORE


Source: WMC

Ampco Pumps Applauds Michael Boyd's Appointment to 3-A Sanitary Standards Board

Glendale, WI – Ampco Pumps Company is thrilled to announce the appointment of Michael Boyd to the Board of Directors for 3-A Sanitary Standards Inc. (3-A SSI). Boyd's extensive experience in the sanitary processing equipment industry, coupled with his deep understanding of food safety principles, makes him an invaluable addition to the board. MORE

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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