December 19, 2019
House Passes USMCA by Overwhelming Bipartisan Vote, Now Heads to Senate
The House of Representatives today approved the landmark U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement (USMCA) by an overwhelming 385-41 vote. The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the bill early next year after its impeachment trial.

Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act Awaits President's Signature
According to news reports, the U.S. Senate today passed a tax extender package that includes a one-year extension of the tax relief in the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA) that was scheduled to expire at the end of 2019. The CBMTRA provides federal excise tax benefits for all wineries. The legislation now heads to the president to sign it into law. In recent weeks, wine and other beverage groups stepped up lobbying efforts with national days of action to encourage Congress to pass CBMTRA before the legislative session ended on Dec. 20. When the legislation was reintroduced in February 2019, the intention was to make permanent the excise tax reduction. The legislation had major bipartisan support in the House ( H.R 1175 ) and Senate ( S. 362 ).
Government Relations Report
In November 2020, voters may see a  proposition  on the ballot that would essentially eliminate all pesticides that are not organic by 2050. Last week the initiative was filed with the California Secretary of State's office and cleared for circulation. The initiative was filed by  Bob Cannard  of Sonoma County, whose website targets sustainable winegrape growing: “The yearly, monthly, and weekly cycle of spraying is not an integrated pest management approach nor a sustainable long-term solution to pest control.”

The initiative would need more than 600,000 signatures by June 8, 2020 to qualify for the ballot. For practical purposes, the proponents will need to gather more than 800,000 signatures to allow for an unknown number of rejected signatures. If the proponents pay a professional signature-gathering firm to circulate the petition, this would cost between $4 million and $10 million.

If this qualifies for the ballot it will be a costly and uphill battle to defeat it. For example, in 2008 Proposition 2 created standards for confining farm animals. Opponents spent nearly $9 million on a No on Prop 2 campaign . Nonetheless, Proposition 2 was approved by a 64 to 36 percent margin.

-Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995
Chlorpyrifos Alternatives Workshops in January
The California Department of Food and Agriculture and California Department of Pesticide Regulation are hosting three upcoming public workshops to gather input on sustainable alternatives to chlorpyrifos. Dates/locations are Jan. 14 in Fresno, Jan. 16 in Sacramento and Jan. 21 in Oxnard. > DETAILS

If you have not yet signed up for Chlorpyrifos Alternative Work Group updates, click here to subscribe (choose alternatives).
USDA Sees Increased Export Opportunities Via 2020 Trade Missions
Next year’s USDA-sponsored ag trade missions include North Africa, Philippines, *Spain and Portugal, *United Kingdom, *Australia and New Zealand, Peru, and *United Arab Emirates (*first-time destinations). These valuable trade missions help large and small agribusinesses “get their foot in the door to new markets, build strong relationships with existing and potential customers, and expand their global footprint and sales of U.S. farm and food products,” Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney said. 
Pesticide Residues Report: Nearly 100 Percent Below EPA Safety Levels
More than 99 percent of commodity samples tested in USDA-Agricultural Marketing Service’s 2018 Pesticide Data Program (PDP) had pesticide residue levels well below EPA-established tolerances. About 48 percent of samples had no detectable pesticide residues. The PDP tests a wide variety of domestic and imported foods; of the 10,545 samples collected in 2018 for the report, 87.8 percent were fresh and processed fruit and vegetables. Of all samples collected and analyzed, approximately 25.6 percent (2,700 of 10,545) were grown, packed and/or distributed in or from California.

E. & J. Gallo Winery Makes 2020 Best Places to Work List
Congratulations to CAWG member E. & J. Gallo Winery for being ranked No. 41 on Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work 2020 list . This is its fourth straight year on the list. The list is based on input from employees who voluntarily provide anonymous feedback about their job, work environment and employer. Glassdoor is one of the world’s largest job and recruiting sites.

> CHEERS TO FOUR YEARS VIDEO (featuring Gallo employees) 

Providing creative, integrated solutions for our beverage and agricultural industry partners with quality packaging products and supply chain services
CAWG's preferred partner for insurance products for more than 20 years. Group workers' comp, wine industry package, federal crop insurance, employee benefits...and more. For more information: 209-955-2600 or  email .
Providing the very best California crop insurance services.
CALL 916-379-8995.
Recent Webinars
Thank you to those who participated in our recent webinars. We hope you found them valuable!

Recordings are available online for the following:

  • Dec. 4 / Crop Insurance 101: Federal crop insurance program
  • Dec. 11 / Crop Insurance 102: Fires, floods and natural disasters
  • Dec. 18 / Whole-farm revenue protection

Employment Law Changes in 2020
WHEN : Jan. 7 / 10 - 11 a.m.
PRESENTER: Brandon K. Kahoush, attorney at law with Fisher & Phillips, LLP.
ABOUT: Learn more about employment law-related legislation that has recently taken effect or will take effect January 2020 and how it will affect your operation and how to prepare for compliance.

Please Take Five-Minute Survey: Farm Management Apprenticeship Program
CAWG is collaborating with the Center for Land-Based Learning (CLBL) to provide growers with opportunities to 1) develop the skills of current employees who have interest in and the potential to be promoted into higher-skilled jobs and 2) find and train high-quality applicants to fill those positions. CLBL is a nonprofit dedicated to creating the next generation of farmers and teaching California youth about agriculture and watershed conservation. In 2017, it launched an apprenticeship program to train farm and ranch managers.

CAWG developed a survey that will help us better understand growers’ labor needs and whether a farm and ranch management apprenticeship program would be useful in advancing training. Your participation in this survey – about five minutes – will help us in our work with CLBL. Thank you!

Promote Your Company or Brand to Nearly 14,000 Attendees!
Nearly 14,000 industry professionals and decision makers from around the world attend the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium. Sponsorships and advertisements create an immediate impact while seamlessly integrating your company’s brand into the Unified experience.

We have sponsorship and advertising opportunities for all budgets. The following are still available:

  • Regional wine tasting wine glass sponsor – No sponsorship cost!
  • Outside magnetic banner (two available) – $7,500
  • Ground directional decals (one available) – $5,000
  • Tote bag sponsor – $10,000
  • Lanyard sponsor – $10,000
  • Regional wine tasting sponsor – $2,000
  • Keynote speaker table sponsor – $1,500
  • Welcome reception hors d’oeuvres sponsor (two available) – $3,500
  • WiFi sponsor (three available) – $2,500

Custom sponsorships are also available! For more information about these or other opportunities, contact Jenny Devine at  or  (916) 379-8995 .

CalAgPlate Sales Provide $220,000 to Ag Education Efforts
Through the 2019 California Special Interest Plate (CalAgPlate) grant program, CDFA awarded $220,413 to four projects that enhance ag education and leadership opportunities for students, teachers and youth. The CalAgPlate program is funded with proceeds generated through the sale of specialized, ag-themed license plates through DMV.

If you are interested in purchasing a CalAgPlate for your personal and/or farm vehicles, click here . The initial cost is $50, then $40 for annual renewal.

CAWG and LDGGA Breakfast Meeting
Winegrape Contracts: Language and Enforcement
WHEN: Jan. 21 / 8:30 a.m. (registration, pastries, coffee), 9-11 a.m. (meeting)
WHERE: Burgundy Hall, Lodi Grape Festival Grounds
PRESENTED BY: Dale Stern (Downey Brand) and CDFA Market Enforcement Branch 

Sonoma Grower Meeting: Tax Laws

HOSTS: CAWG, Sonoma County Winegrowers and the Sonoma County Farm Bureau
WHEN: Jan. 24
WHERE: Sonoma County Farm Bureau, 3589 Westwind Blvd., Santa Rosa
PRESENTED BY: Robert Murphy and Henrietta Bodi, Frank Rimerman + Co LLP
TOPICS: With more than a year under our belts with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act being signed into law, Murphy and Bodi will discuss important tax factors that directly impact ag businesses and families, as well as discuss tax-related deductions for those impacted by recent wildfires. Several other topics will be discussed, and CAWG will also give a state and federal update.
Save the Date!
68th Annual Lodi Grape Day
WHEN: Feb. 25
WHERE: 125 S. Hutchins Street, Lodi
TOPICS: Registration details forthcoming.
Save the Date!
University of California Grape Day
WHEN: Jan. 21 (registration will open on Jan. 4)
WHERE: UC Davis Conference Center, 550 Alumni Lane, Davis
TOPICS: Rootstock and germplasm evaluation, methods to mitigate heat wave damages, crop load management, grapevine crop evapotranspiration calculation and irrigation scheduling, and updates on vineyard sensing and mechanization projects.