Produce Safety Advisory Council

​​​As part of the implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the FDA established science-based standards for fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption, as outlined in the FDA regulation, “Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption," commonly referred to as the Produce Safety Rule.

To fairly and effectively implement the rule, federal and state government, regulator entities, produce growers, industry and universities must work together. In this spirit, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) created the Produce Safety Advisory Council under the authority of Wis. Stat. s. 15.04(1)(c). Advisory councils provide opportunities for people affected by agency decisions to participate in the decision-making process and improve the quality of agency decision making.

PSAC Members and Subcommittees

Name​ ​Affiliation & Bio ​Term Start
​Wayne Geist (chair)Bushel and a Peck Market: Wayne and Lisa Geist own and operate Bushel and a Peck Market as well as Geist Electric. The farm is located in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and is fully covered under the Produce Safety Rule. The farm produces more than 36 varieties of apples, as well as currents, raspberries and blackberries while practicing ecology-based growing, promoting soil and tree health, nurturing pollinators, and protecting biodiversity. The market offers wholesale, pick-your-own and prepicked orchard selections as well as baked goods, fall produce, school tours, wagon rides and more. Wayne also is a member of Wisconsin Apple Growers Association, is an Army veteran and master electrician, and has a bachelor's degree in industrial management.11/2020 to 11/2022; eligible for reappointment
Sara EckerEcker's Apples: Sara is the orchard manager of a 40-acre family farm in western Wisconsin. The farm is fairly vertically integrated – growing, harvesting, packing, wholesaling, processing, baking and making hard cider. The farm underwent the On-Farm Readiness Review in 2019 and had its FSMA inspection in 2020. Sara is a member of the Wisconsin Apple Growers Association (WAGA) and currently serves on its board.2/2020 to 2/2022; eligible for reappointment
​Chris Fasching​Wescott Agri Products, Inc.​5/2020 to 5/2022; eligible for reappointment
​Steve LouisOakwood Fruit Farm: Steve grew up on an apple orchard and dairy farm in southwest Wisconsin. He attended UW-Madison and received a degree in horticulture and dairy science. Steve has run the packing operations and food safety program for Oakwood Fruit farm for 15 years. The farm packs nearly 100,000 bushel of apples each year. He works closely with other large apple packers in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan while keeping up on the latest food safety trends and practices.2/2020 to 2/2022; eligible for reappointment
​Lavern Zeiset​Lavern Zeiset Farm; Plain Communities11/2020 to 11/2022; eligible for reappointment
​Jay Ellingson​Kwik Trip11/2020 to 11/2022; eligible for reappointment
​Hsing-Yi Hsieh​Festival Foods11/2020 to 11/2022; eligible for reappointment
​Susan Quam​Wisconsin Restaurant Association11/2020 to 11/2022; eligible for reappointment
​Josh Rimmert (vice chair)Alsum Farms & Produce: Josh is the food safety coordinator at Alsum Farms & Produce, where he has worked for 15 years and led the food safety program for Alsum Companies for the last 12 years. He works closely with suppliers and packers, while keeping abreast of the latest food safety trends and practices. While attending Cambria-Friesland High School, Josh was an active member of the Randolph Cambria-Friesland FFA and served as a chapter officer. He earned his American FFA Degree in 2004 and got his start in agriculture working at local dairy farms in central Wisconsin. Josh attended Western Technical College in La Crosse, earning an associate's degree in firefighting. He currently serves as the fire chief for the Friesland Volunteer Fire Department. 11/2020 to 11/2022; eligible for reappointment
​Dan Cornelius​Intertribal Agriculture Council11/2020 to 11/2022; eligible for reappointment

Julie Keown-Bomar
Wisconsin Farmers Union: Julie is the executive director of Wisconsin Farmers Union, an agricultural organization representing more than 2,000 farm families and farmer allies across the state. The Farmers Union provides education, cooperative development, rural organizing, and policy advocacy to keep rural communities thriving and independent farmers in business. Julie has a Ph.D in anthropology and has worked in community development and organizing for more than 20 years. 11/2020 to 11/2022; eligible for reappointment

Jeff Mears
Wisconsin Tribal Conservation Advisory Council: Jeff is executive director of WTCAC, a nonprofit established in 2001 that provides a forum for the 11 federally recognized tribal nations in Wisconsin on natural resource and agricultural issues. Jeff is a member of the Oneida Nation, with a bachelor's degree in biological sciences and chemistry from Northern Illinois University, and master's of public administration from UW-Oshkosh. Jeff has more than 25 years of natural resources management experience with the Oneida Nation and now WTCAC. ​2/2021 to 2/2023; eligible for reappointment

PSAC membership list     

  • Compliance Subcommittee: Working to improve buyers' understanding of covered growers requirements and the benefits that are in place if/when they obtain produce from inspected or audited farms.
  • Statute and Rule Subcommittee: Working to better understand the true scope of the regulation by reviewing it piece-by-piece and sharing feedback.
  • Strategic Planning Subcommittee: Working to understand opportunities for exempt farms to gain equal market access.
  • Outreach and Education Subcommittee: Working to brainstorm additional tools and key partners to aid in the completion/clarification of the farm inventory.

Wisconsin Produce Safety Advisory Council - 2022 Nomination Form​​​

Agendas and Minutes

​Meeting​Date and Time​Materials
​PSAC​August 18, 2021Agenda, Minutes
​May 19, 2021
​November 17, 2021