WI Senate Committee Passes Hi Capacity Well Bill

The Republican-controlled WI Sen Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform voted 3-2 on party lines Tuesday to advance a bill (SB 76/AB 105) modifying high-capacity well regulation, clearing the way for a full Senate vote .

The bill would exempt well repairs, replacement, reconstruction and ownership transfers from state oversight. The Department of Natural Resources  (DNR) would have to complete a study of water bodies in the central sands region to determine if special measures are needed to protect streams and lakes in the area from depletion.

MWFPA supports the measure and its president, Nick George, recently testified before a legislative committee hearing on the matter.  The bill will provide regulatory certainty for farmers who rely on high-capacity wells to irrigate their crops and hydrate livestock.  Other organizations supporting the legislation are the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association and the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association.

Register Today For MWFPA Spring Summit & Scramble

MWFPA’s Spring Summit and Scramble is set for May 31 – June 1, 2017, at the Kalahari Resort and Trapper’s Turn Golf Course in Wisconsin Dells, WI. For more information and on-line reservations, visit our event website: www.birdeasepro.com/MWFPA or download the registration form .
This is a Members-Only event. On Wednesday evening, May 31st, a reception will be held from 5-7 p.m. in the Double Cut Grill at the Kalahari Resort & Convention Center. The shotgun style golf tournament will be played at Trapper’s Turn June 1st, starting at 8:00 am followed by lunch, awards and cash prizes. Register early!  This event fills up fast!
Last year over 200 golfers participated in this event and over $3,000 in cash prizes were awarded.
The Spring Summit & Scramble offers many opportunities to promote your company by sponsoring:
  • A hole
  • Wednesday evening reception
  • Cash prizes
  • Lunch
  • Donating items for drawings and goodie bags*
All sponsors will be recognized with signage at the event, on our website and social networking pages, and in our bi-monthly e-bulletin. The sooner you sponsor the longer your logo is displayed.
This year’s golf outing will again afford participants the opportunity to help raise money for MWFPA Scholarships.  In 2017 MWFPA will award 16 $1,000 scholarships to the children of MWFPA member company employees.
LODGING:
A block of rooms has been reserved at the Kalahari, (608) 254-5466.  When you call be sure to indicate that you are with MWFPA. 
*If your company plans to bring a door prize, please contact brian.deschane@mwfpa.org, or phone 608-255-9946 in advance of the event so your contribution can be included on the appropriate signage. A MINIMUM of 225 ITEMS MOST BE DONATED.

Register Now For MWFPA Sanitation Seminar!

Register now for MWFPA’s Cleaning and Sanitation in Food Plants Seminar, April 26, 2017, 8:00am-4:30pm at the Kalahari Resort & Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells, WI.

Scheduled Topics and Speakers:

Purnendu C. Vasavada, PCV & Associates – Cleaning and Sanitation: Fundamentals & FSMA
Charles Deibel, Deibel Labs – Basic Microbiology – Indicators and Pathogens: Control of Salmonella and Listeria in the Food Plant Environment
Rick Stokes, Ecolab – Hygienic Design of Facility and Equipment: Criteria, Requirements & Best Practices During Maintenance Operations
Michael Hahn, Hygiena – Rapid Hygiene Monitoring: ATP and non-ATP Based Methods for Rapid Pathogen and Allergen Testing
Brad Tennis, Pro Active Solutions – Cooler/Cooker Cleaning
Sara Lopez, Chemstation – GHS and SDS/Right to Understand Law
Rob Lowe, PSSI – Employee Safety & Chemistry
Steve Brennecke, Anderson Chemical – Creating a Food Safety Culture
WI DATCP Representatives – Sanitation Inspections Cleaning and Sanitation – Practical Issues and Best Practice Discussion Panel

Food safety remains the most important issue facing the food industry today. Now more than ever, food processors must demonstrate that procedures are in place to ensure that food safety is the top priority. This seminar is designed to discuss principles of cleaning and sanitation and the role of sanitary and hygienic design in assuring food safety and quality.

EXHIBITORS: Engage in face-to-face conversations with attendees by reserving table top space located in the general meeting room or in close proximity to the registration desk.

SPONSORSHIPS: There are three exclusive sponsorship opportunities for this event (breakfast, lunch & break). Each sponsor’s logo will be displayed and a company representative will be given the opportunity to address all attendees at a designated time. The cost of a sponsorship is $1,000.00. Please contact MWFPA for more details at 608-255-9946.

Don’t wait. Register Today!!

Ag Secretary Confirmation Hearing Set

The former two-term Republican governor of Georgia was announced as President Donald Trump’s pick to head the USDA on Jan. 19. The Administration sent the Senate Agriculture Committee a memo formally nominating Perdue on March 9. Perdue’s ethics disclosure forms were filed with the committee and his FBI background check materials were made available the next day.

MWFPA Partners With ProFood Tech

MWFPA is partnering with PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies at ProFood Tech, April 4-6, 2017 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.  The event is expected to attract over 6,000 processing professionals.  Read the MWFPA news release.  You can register for the event by clicking on the banner in the lower right corner of this web page.

Defining “Healthy” Is No Easy Task

FDA officials, food and beverage companies, nutrition scientists and consumer advocates all agree that the agency’s standards for applying the “healthy” label aren’t up to snuff, given that foods like almonds, salmon and avocado don’t make the cut, while chocolate pudding and Pop-Tarts can. But crafting a new definition is a complicated challenge, as was evident during FDA’s first public meeting on the issue on Thursday in Rockville, Md. The agency must answer fundamental questions before it can start the rulemaking process, such as what it wants the new standard to accomplish.

Is the goal to shift Americans’ diets toward better eating patterns? Reduce consumption of specific nutrients or foods that are deemed harmful? Encourage manufacturers to reformulate their foods? Or all of the above?

Many attendees urged FDA to be flexible in its definition because nutrition science and consumer attitudes toward healthy eating are constantly changing. But some broad ideas about the way forward were offered – namely, that the new definition of “healthy” needs to consider food groups (fruit, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, dairy and lean meat) as well as nutrients (sugar, salt, fats, protein). Right now, the regulatory definition focuses on specific nutrients, ultimately leading to grocery store aisles being packed with foods low in fat but high in carbohydrates.

Several approaches were laid out. Kristin Reimers, director of nutrition at ConAgra Foods, outlined a tiered approach based on food groups to encourage: The more a product contained those items, like fruits and vegetables, the more flexibility it would receive for the amount of nutrients to limit, like salt and saturated fat, it could include. The Center for Science in the Public Interest put forward seven criteria for defining “healthy,” ranging from excluding foods that contain more than a few grams of added sugar and ensuring sodium limits align with the FDA’s voluntary reduction targets issued last year for food companies.

KIND Snacks (the company that was involved in getting this whole shebang started in the first place, after FDA sent it a warning letter about the “healthy” claim on their nut bars) presented four ideas, such as ensuring that processed foods have a “meaningful amount” of ingredients that the Dietary Guidelines for Americans considers part of a healthy eating pattern.

This article from POLITICO’s Morning Agriculture, by Catherine Boudreau, with help from Jason Huffman, Megan Cassella, Brent Griffiths, Eric Wolff and Helena Bottemiller Evich.