Your source for CAWG and industry news
January 11, 2018

January 23-25
Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, Sacramento

January 24
Winegrape Growers of America Leadership Luncheon, Sacramento

February 21-22
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Temecula 

April 4
CAWG Winegrape Day in the Capitol, Sacramento

April 4
CAWG Foundation Wine Reception, Sacramento

April 5
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Sacramento

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CAWG Federal Update on FDA and TTB Issues
CAWG logo no words
CAWG has been working on the following federal issues important to the winegrape industry and has provided an update on its efforts and recent developments.
>FDA'S PRODUCE SAFETY RULE: CAWG has been trying to obtain  a categorical exemption for winegrapes.
>TTB NOTICE NO. 160B: CAWG has filed comments  and is urging the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) to withdraw its proposed rule and initiate a collaborative discussion with the industry to address regulatory issues surrounding certificates of exemption of label approval (exempt-COLA).
Government Relations Capitol Report
This week Gov. Jerry Brown released his 16th and final proposed state budget. The $190 billion proposed spending plan for 2018-19 would sock another $5 billion away into the state's rainy-day fund, for a total of $13.5 billion. The governor stressed the need for fiscal restraint and warned of a recession on the horizon.
Of special interest to the ag industry is the governor's budget proposal to establish a new special fund for the State Water Board to pay for grants, loans and services to help secure access to safe and affordable drinking water. The budget proposes short-term funding of $4.7 million in 2018-19 to implement this new program.  
However, it is not clear how this program would be funded in the long term. Other pending legislation has proposed a new fee on fertilizer, water and milk to pay for a similar program. Creating a fee, whether done as a budget trailer bill or standalone legislation would require a two-thirds vote of the state Legislature.  
-- Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995

Pesticide Applications Near Schools and Child Care Facilities: Updated Info for Growers and Applicators
The Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has posted a new instructional document on its website -- CalAgPermits School Notifications Quick Overview. CalAgPermits is a free, web-based pesticide permitting program created to simplify the permit and pesticide reporting process. You are able to view information about your permit, historical data related to your pesticide use reports (PUR) and submit PURs and notices of intent (NOI) online.
> WEBSITE (click on information for growers and applicators)

President Trump Speaks at Farm Bureau Convention
President Trump on Monday delivered a speech at the American Farm Bureau Federation's annual convention, the first president to address the group in more than 25 years. He spoke about a number of topics, including tax cuts, economic growth, regulations, NAFTA, a new task force report (see news item below) and rural prosperity.

Agriculture and Rural Prosperity Task Force Report and Website Unveiled
A comprehensive new report from the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity, made public this week, highlights numerous ways to improve rural life in America. 

The task force identified more than 100 actions for the federal government to consider, focusing on five areas: E-connectivity for rural America, improving quality of life, supporting a rural workforce, harnessing technological innovation, and improving economic development. A Rural Prosperity website was also launched.
The task force was established in April 2017 with USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue as chair. Its purpose is to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes to promote agriculture, economic development, job growth, infrastructure improvements, technological innovation, energy security and quality of life in rural America.

California Agricultural Leadership Program Seeks Applicants for Class 49
Dozens of CAWG members - including current board members Mike Testa, Jeff Bitter, Nicholas Miller, Stephen Kautz and Nat DiBuduo - have participated in and benefitted from the California Agricultural Leadership Program, an advanced leadership development experience for mid-career agricultural professionals. Members of the winegrape industry are encouraged to apply! Applicants must be growers or individuals working in allied businesses and organizations. The 17-month program - from October 2018 to February 2020 -  includes about 56 days of formal program activities. This includes monthly seminars, as well as national and international travel seminars. Interested candidates are encouraged to talk with alumni about the program and attend regional recruitment events. The online application for Class 49 is available here. Phase one applications are due by April 30.

Crop Insurance Deadline is Jan. 31

Watch this  short video  for more information.

If you are planning to purchase winegrape crop insurance, you must sign up by Jan. 31 to have coverage for the 2018 crop year. 

Whether you are new to crop insurance or you have been purchasing it for many years, CAWG is committed to bringing you helpful information.  You can access a recording of  CAWG's crop insurance webinar online, read Pan American's article about crop insurance units and grape cluster freeze insurance in the January issue of The Crush (in mailboxes soon), or contact Greg Merrill at Pan American at (559) 492-5384.

REAL ID: DMV is Unveiling a New 'Secure' Driver License
Starting Jan. 22, Californians have the option to apply for REAL ID, a more secure version of their driver license or identification card. However, residents have until Oct. 1, 2020, which is when the federal government will require your driver license or identification (ID) card to be REAL ID compliant if you wish to use it to board an airplane or to enter most federal facilities. If you have a valid U.S. passport or U.S. passport card, military ID or other federally approved identification, you may use this as your form of identification to pass a TSA checkpoint at airports nationwide and visit a secure federal building or military installations. The federal REAL ID Act of 2005 was passed in response to the events of 9/11.


CAWG members must register by Jan. 16 to receive a $200 discount. To register by phone, call 888-559-9530. If you need your Unified code, contact CAWG a 916-379-8995.
Daily/hourly program.
Final days to take advantage of key sponsorship and ad opportunities! Visit the Unified website or call Jenny Devine at (916) 379-8995.

WGA Leadership Luncheon to Feature Damien Wilson and the Rich Smith Award Presentation
Damien Wilson, the Hamel Family Faculty Chair of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University, will deliver the keynote address at the Winegrape Growers of America Leadership Luncheon in Sacramento. Wilson arrived in California in 2015, following 20 years of professional experience in the production, distribution, promotion, sales and service fields of the wine sector.  The luncheon will also include a presentation honoring the recipient of the Rich Smith Distinguished Service Award. 
WHEN: Jan. 24 / 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (held during Unified Symposium)
WHERE: Hyatt Regency, Capitol View Room


The PD/GWSS Board is seeking a research director to provide guidance to the board's virus research program.
January 2018
A potentially useful strategy for grape growers interested in pollinator conservation as part of a broader farmscape sustainability agenda.
Environmental Ecology, Dec. 30


California growers and contractors recruited 14,252 foreign guest workers last year, the most they have hired in the program's modern history, according to a LA Times analysis of U.S. Department of Labor data. Vineyard manager Chris Bowland is quoted.
Los Angeles Times, Jan. 9


California employers can take a deep breath of fresh air, because the recreational use of marijuana stops at the workplace.
Cal Chamber, Jan. 8

Natural Disasters Cost U.S. $306 Billion in 2017
Wildfires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural catastrophes made 2017 the most expensive year on record for disasters in the U.S., the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported this week. The weather and climate disasters cost a record $306 billion. The agency also reported that 2017 was the third warmest year and 20th  wettest year on record for the U.S.

Water Articles and Resources
The stubborn atmospheric ridge of the Pacific Coast broke down. Those in wine country were prepared for flooding and mudslides in burned areas.
The Mercury News, Jan. 8
The California Weather Blog - most recent post on Jan. 7 highlights CA's recent storm.

Rebates, Programs...and Free Wood Chips
The January issue of PG&E Energy Advisor highlights large pump overhaul incentives, rebates for ag operations and food processing facilities, energy saving ideas for 2018, and financing for new energy-efficient equipment. PG&E is also offering free wood chips for mulching.

Free Webcast: 2017 Wine Industry Financial Benchmarking Report - An Overview
This webcast will summarize key findings from Moss & Adams' 2017 Wine Industry Financial Benchmarking ReportĀ®, published with Turrentine Brokerage, American AgCredit and Heffernan Insurance Brokers. Topics to be covered in the webcast include general industry trends , s ales and production data, s hort- and long-term strategies, and planned investments.
WHEN: Jan. 17, 2018 / 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. PST

Spread the Word! Scholarship Applications Due March 16
Each year the CAWG Foundation awards scholarships to several high school seniors whose parents or legal guardians are employed by California winegrape growers.  The application deadline is March 16, 2018.  Please share the information and link with your employees. Since the program's inception in 1998, the foundation has awarded $403,000 in scholarships.

UCCE 66th Annual Lodi Grape Day

Event features luncheon speech by retiring farm advisor Paul Verdegaal.
WHEN: Feb. 6, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (retirement gathering 1:30-3:30 p.m.)
WHERE: 125 South Hutchins Street, Lodi
COST: $30

UCCE Grape Day - Sonoma County

WHEN: Feb. 8, 7-11:30 a.m.
WHERE: Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building, 1351 Maple Ave.
COST: $42 (includes breakfast)