TUE AM News: Haribo to build Wisconsin campus ‘as soon as possible’; State’s spud harvest proves a good year for potatoes

— Haribo of America will begin construction later this year on its gummi production campus in Pleasant Prairie.

Construction on the 136.8-acre facility along I-94 is going to begin “as soon as possible” in 2020, according to Haribo’s release. It’s the largest project in the company’s 100-year history. 

“HARIBO is the fastest growing confectionery brand in the U.S. I’m proud that its products will be made right here in Wisconsin,” Gov. Tony Evers said. “We warmly welcome HARIBO to a long list of family-run enterprises that form the economic backbone of our state, making best-in-class products that reach every corner of the globe.”

According to Haribo CFO Wes Saber, the company will invest “well above” $300 million in the facility. Saber also cited a 385 job count for phase one of its build and up to 4,200 indirect jobs upon completion of its project.

“It’s important to us to be exemplary corporate citizens and give back to the places where we live and work, so we’re proud of the relationships we’ve already built as we become part of the fabric of the community,” he said. 

Haribo has selected Gilbane Building Company of Milwaukee as the general contractor for its first-ever North American manufacturing facility.

“HARIBO’s commitment to quality, excellence and joy makes it precisely the kind of company we want and can well support in Wisconsin,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. “The company is a perfect fit with our food production tradition, and joins an enviable roster of iconic consumer brands that call Wisconsin home.”

Kenosha County Exec. Jim Kreuser and Village of Pleasant Prairie Administrator Nathan Thiel also gave Harbio a warm welcome to the region, citing the company’s “outstanding” corporate citizenship and significant investment to the local economy. 

See Haribo’s release: https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/WIGOV/2020/10/26/file_attachments/1579362/10-26-20%20HARIBO_GBrelease_10.26.20%20FINAL.pdf 

See Evers’ release: https://www.wisbusiness.com/2020/gov-evers-announces-haribo-to-begin-work-on-pleasant-prairie-factory/  

— gBETA and Bronze Valley Accelerator’s Fall 2020 Pitch Night series will take place Nov. 16 through Nov. 20. 

The virtual event will highlight 40 companies from eight programs across the country delivering five-minute pitches. The pitches will be followed by a Q&A. 

gBETA, a program of startup accelerator gener8tor, accelerates the growth of early-stage companies through its network-driven model. gBETA supports five teams per cohort and requires no fees and no equity. 

This pitch night series is a celebration of gBETA’s latest fall 2020 cohorts.

Register here: https://www.gbetastartups.com/pitch-night/fall-2020 

— DATCP says regulating data privacy presents complex issues as it wraps up Cybersecurity Awareness Month. 

“The decision of how to regulate the privacy and security of consumer data will have significant impacts on the residents of Wisconsin and its economy for years to come,” said Lara Sutherlin,  administrator of DATCP’s Division of Trade and Consumer Protection. 

“Without a comprehensive set of ground rules for all, businesses are more susceptible to a data breach, consumers are less likely to find relief if they are a victim of fraud, and businesses and consumers alike are left unaware of how their data is being collected and used without their permission,” she continued.

At this time last year, DATCP announced the formation of the Data Privacy and Security Advisory Committee. A coalition of 25 members from all sectors of industry, governmental agencies and consumer advocates joined together to evaluate how Wisconsin could effectively keep consumer data secure in the ever-changing technological economy.

The committee convened into three workgroups: education, new ideas and harmonization. The education group discussed targeted education toward all age levels and audience types using various media platforms. The harmonization group discussed the need for compatibility between consumer data security regulation and other regulatory frameworks.

The new ideas workgroup explored innovative ideas mentioned by speakers and members during advisory meetings. The group suggested creating a data controller registry in the state that collects fees and requires best security practices from businesses. The fees collected by the registry would help victims of breaches and establish a data privacy and security support group for small businesses and consumers to exchange information. The group also recommended creating a barrier to transferring data without the consent of a person to transfer data.

“No matter what the future holds, every individual or organizational user needs to be empowered to do their part for cybersecurity,” Sutherlin said. “Resolving the challenges presented by data collection, storage, and sharing will require the sustained involvement of multiple parties, including consumers, businesses, industry leaders, industry standards organizations, legislators, and regulators.”

See the committee’s report: https://datcp.wi.gov/Documents/DataPrivacySecurityReport.pdf 

— Wisconsin’s potato harvest went extremely well this year, says the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association.

Executive Director Tamas Houlihan said this year was much better than the last two challenging seasons. 

“The growers are reporting average yields and excellent quality,” he told WisBusiness.com. The association estimates about 62,000 acres of harvested potatoes with an average yield of 420 hundredweight per acre for a total production of about 26 million hundredweight.

In 2019, Wisconsin potato growers harvested approximately 63,000 acres. The average yield on acres harvested in Wisconsin in 2019 was estimated to be 410 hundredweight per acre for a total of 25.8 million hundredweight.

Meanwhile, the processing quality for French fries, hash browns and other frozen products is reported to meet the nation’s gold standard with low percentages of soft rot or other defects, Houlihan said. 

“Yields were reported to be above average and specific gravities (percent dry matter) are also reported to be above average,” he said. “This year’s crop should also store well.”

One dilemma in the state was heavy rainfall in the Antigo seed potato production area in late July that led to some low spots in fields being drowned out. The Antigo growers reported variable losses, ranging from 5 percent to 10 percent in some fields, but only about a 5 percent loss overall, Houlihan noted.

“The market for fresh crop potatoes is good, with retail sales higher than pre-COVID levels,” he added. “Canned and frozen vegetable consumption also remains higher than pre-COVID levels.  The market for processing potatoes is coming back, but due to restaurant closures, it is still not at the same level as pre-COVID.”

With spuds out of the ground, Wisconsin growers are storing them in large storage sheds with high humidity — 90 percent — and fresh air to keep the potatoes fresh throughout the winter and into next spring and summer. 

“The larger Wisconsin grower/packers store potatoes nearly year-round to remain a consistent supplier to the marketplace,” he said.

— The cranberry harvest was wrapping up and soybeans were mostly harvested this week, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service

Temperatures were well below normal the week ending Oct. 25. Wisconsin’s 3.2 days suitable for fieldwork were interrupted by a large, slow-moving storm system that brought snow and heavy rain. 

USDA reporters commented that the storm was well-timed, however, as fall fieldwork was ahead of schedule and the added soil moisture would benefit crops preparing to overwinter.

The corn and soybean harvests moved quickly at the beginning of the week. Corn for grain harvest was 40 percent complete, three weeks ahead of last year and five days ahead of the five-year average. The moisture content of corn harvested for grain was reported at 21 percent. Corn condition rated 80 percent good to excellent statewide, up three percentage points from last week. 

Soybean harvest was 85 percent complete, more than four weeks ahead of last year and 13 days ahead of the average. 

Winter wheat planted was 94 percent complete, more than four weeks ahead of last year and 18 days ahead of the average. Seventy-one percent of winter wheat was emerged, more than four weeks ahead of last year and one week ahead of the average. The condition was rated 81 percent good to excellent, up four percentage points from last week. 

Fall tillage was reported as 42 percent complete, more than four weeks ahead of last year and 10 days ahead of the average. 

Pasture condition rated 52 percent good to excellent, down two percentage points from last week.

— COVID-19 hospitalizations are at a record 1,350 statewide, according to the Wisconsin Hospital Association’s coronavirus data dashboard.

Intensive care unit patients number a near-record 329, under Friday’s record of 331 patients.

Wisconsin reported 2,883 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, pushing the state’s cumulative confirmed case count over 200,000. The state also reported 10 new deaths among confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 1,788 — 188 more deaths since last Monday. 

Meanwhile, the Alternative Care Facility at State Fair Park had four patients as of yesterday afternoon. The ACF was designed to serve as an overflow facility for hospitals across the state.

Click here for more coronavirus resources and updates: https://www.wispolitics.com/wisconsin-coronavirus-resources/ 

— Wisconsin National Guard teams have collected 698,632 specimens statewide. 

Between late April and Oct. 19, teams have collected over 654,000 tests in 66 counties at a variety of state and county institutions, long-term care facilities, industrial plants and community-based testing sites.

In addition, approximately 30 troops are working at a call center that informs people of their COVID-19 test results.

All told, approximately 700 citizen soldiers and airmen from the Wisconsin National Guard are currently serving in direct support of the state’s response to COVID-19 in a variety of statuses.

Wisconsin National Guard specimen collection sites operating the week of Oct. 26 and other testing sites are available here: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/community-testing.htm 

— State health officials are balancing a myriad of public health crises as COVID-19 tightens its grip on Wisconsin, including childhood lead poisoning. 

The poisoning happens when kids swallow lead paint dust, often found in homes built before 1978, and can also be caused by lead-contaminated drinking water from lead service lines or lead in plumbing fixtures.

Brian Weaver, the state’s lead policy advisor, said COVID-19 creates additional challenges for families living in at-risk houses who are now spending more time at home and have fewer options for blood lead testing due to limited services at some clinics.

Weaver noted in a Department of Health Services briefing yesterday that many of those families are also among the populations being hardest hit by COVID-19, such as people of color. 

He said that Wisconsin has an unequal distribution of childhood lead poisoning by race and ethnicity. Black children make up just under 20 percent of tested children but account for almost half of all lead-poisoned children in Wisconsin. Childhood lead poisoning can cause delays in growth, behavior and create learning challenges. In severe cases, lead poisoning can result in seizures, coma and death.

While the cities of Milwaukee and Racine have the highest rates of childhood lead poisoning, lead poisoning occurs in nearly every Wisconsin county. Over two-thirds of Wisconsin’s ZIP codes have had at least one lead poisoned child from 2015 to 2019, according to Weaver. 

Between 1996 and 2019, over 225,000 children under the age of six in Wisconsin were identified with lead poisoning. Lead-based paint is the primary source of lead exposure. An estimated 350,000 homes in Wisconsin have lead-based hazards. 

Lead poisoning is 100 percent preventable, Weaver said. He announced new money coming in from federal sources to support the state’s mitigation efforts including from the CDC, EPA and HUD.

“I’m pleased to report … that in this time period, during COVID, we have and are expanding our efforts around childhood lead poisoning prevention and intervention services,” he said. “COVID is a top priority health issue for the state, but we’re also paying attention to these other really critical public health issues that can have a really negative impact on a child’s outcome if we don’t focus in on those efforts,” he said. 

Learn more about the state’s lead poisoning prevention programs here: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/lead/index.htm 

— All three of Wisconsin’s major professional sports teams are getting involved in the “Stop the COVID Spread!” coalition.

The COVID-19 mitigation coalition released its second public education announcement yesterday on broadcast TV and digital platforms statewide, featuring three players from the Green Bay Packers. 

The latest 30-second ad features Packers players Adrian Amos, Kenny Clark and Marquez Valdes-Scantling encouraging Wisconsin residents to do their part in the team effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19. 

“When it comes to COVID-19, Wisconsin has been playing a lot of defense lately,” Amos says in the spot. The players add, “there’s not much time on the clock, but with the right game plan, we can turn this around.”

Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy said the organization is pleased to join the effort to encourage Wisconsinites to wear masks, social distancing and wash their hands.

Watch the full video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qj881o1heQU&feature=youtu.be 

— The Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks are also joining the coalition as it expands its efforts.

The teams join more than 35 business and public health groups banding together in an appeal to Wisconsinites to do all they can in their personal lives to fight COVID-19.

“Teamwork is critical to success in baseball, and we are joining the ‘Stop the COVID Spread!’ team to encourage Wisconsin residents to take precautions,” said Rick Schlesinger, president of business operations for the Brewers.

“As Wisconsin continues to see the COVID-19 crisis grow, we must do our part to reduce infections and hospitalizations,” said Alex Lasry, senior vice president of the Bucks.

Eric Borgerding, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Hospital Association said having the pro teams’ voices on the coalition “could not have come at a more important time” as COVID-19 continues to spread at an “alarming rate” and set new records daily. 


# Xcel Energy pursuing $100M solar farm in western Wisconsin


# Pandemic rapidly accelerates growth in direct-to-consumer ag 

# As COVID-19 Shifts Many Schools To Online Learning, Families Flock To Virtual Charter Schools 




– State Poultry Farmers Report Higher Egg Production http://www.wisconsinagconnection.com/story-state.php?Id=1144&yr=2020 

– October Dairy Situation and Outlook Report http://www.wisconsinagconnection.com/story-state.php?Id=1143&yr=2020 

– Dairy Innovation Hub to host first Dairy Summit Nov. 18 https://www.midwestfarmreport.com/2020/10/26/dairy-innovation-hub-to-host-first-dairy-summit-nov-18/ 


– Most businesses don’t expect return to normal until after first quarter, MMAC survey finds https://biztimes.com/most-businesses-dont-expect-return-to-normal-until-after-first-quarter-mmac-survey-finds/ 


– College filings highlight initial rounds of cuts, spending priorities as Covid-19 takes its toll https://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2020/10/26/colleges-jobs-cuts-spending-covid-19.html 

– UW-Madison Estimates $320M In Lost Revenue Due To COVID-19 Pandemic https://www.wpr.org/uw-madison-estimates-320m-lost-revenue-due-covid-19-pandemic 


– Contact tracers were supposed to be key players in fighting COVID-19. But as Wisconsin’s cases surge, they’re overwhelmed https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/2020/10/24/wisconsins-covid-19-cases-explode-contact-tracing-futile/5993362002/


– Alchemy Angel’s Guthrie named managing partner of Milwaukee’s Gateway Capital Fund https://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2020/10/26/dana-guthrie-to-manage-gateway-capital-fund.html 


– DNR Wants To Raise Mining Fees, Require More Detailed Plans https://www.wpr.org/dnr-wants-raise-mining-fees-require-more-detailed-plans 


– Hmong Voters Could Be Key To Winning Wisconsin. Here’s How Organizers Are Reaching Them. https://www.wpr.org/hmong-voters-could-be-key-winning-wisconsin-heres-how-organizers-are-reaching-them

– COVID-19 Response Has Reshaped Northwoods Congressional Race https://www.wpr.org/covid-19-response-has-reshaped-northwoods-congressional-race

– Fannie Lou Hamer’s declaration ‘I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired’ is still a rallying cry for Black people in Milwaukee https://www.jsonline.com/in-depth/news/special-reports/2020/06/25/milwaukee-has-made-little-progress-toward-equity-how-can-change/3181671001/

– US Supreme Court Won’t Extend Wisconsin’s Deadline For Absentee Ballots Received After Election Day https://www.wpr.org/us-supreme-court-wont-extend-wisconsins-deadline-absentee-ballots-received-after-election-day 


– Private equity firm buys two Froedtert-occupied buildings for $60 million https://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2020/10/26/private-equity-firms-buys-two-froedtert-occupied.html 


– Milwaukee tightens restrictions on restaurants, bars and gatherings to curb spread of Covid-19 https://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2020/10/26/city-tightens-restrictions-on-restaurants-bars.html 


– Wisconsin Applebee’s owner cites restaurant restrictions, Covid-19 pandemic for bankruptcy https://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2020/10/26/wisconsin-applebees-blames-bankruptcy-on-covid.html 

– Active, casual emphasized in new strategic vision for Kohl’s https://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2020/10/26/active-casual-emphasized-in-new-kohls-vision.html 


– Couture’s transit station could open in 2022 under extended deadline https://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2020/10/26/couture-transit-station-could-open-in-2022.html 

– Lamers Bus Lines business down at least 95%, coach bus industry looks to federal assistance https://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2020/10/26/lamers-bus-lines-down-95-coach-bus-industry-look.html 


– WEC Energy Group pitches $50 million EV charging pilot program https://biztimes.com/wec-energy-group-pitches-50-million-ev-charging-pilot-program/ 

– Rival Canadian Company Agrees To Buy Husky Energy In $2.9B Deal https://www.wpr.org/rival-canadian-company-agrees-buy-husky-energy-2-9b-deal 


– The China Factor & The Farm Vote https://www.midwestfarmreport.com/2020/10/26/op-ed-the-china-factor-the-farm-vote/ 

– When Rural America Thrives, Wisconsin Thrives https://www.rd.usda.gov/newsroom/news-release/op-ed-when-rural-america-thrives-wisconsin-thrives 


<i>See these and other press releases: 

https://www.wisbusiness.com/press-releases/ </i>

– Badger Fund of Funds: Restructures fund https://www.wisbusiness.com/2020/badger-fund-of-funds-restructures-fund/ 

– Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation: Wisconsin school districts encouraged to apply for Fab Labs grants https://www.wisbusiness.com/2020/wisconsin-economic-development-corporation-wisconsin-school-districts-encouraged-to-apply-for-fab-labs-grants/