March 25, 2021
National Ag Week is March 21-27 and National Ag Day was March 23.
Thank you to our members and everyone involved in the essential and amazing agriculture industry!

CDFA's Ag Day 2021 theme was “Celebrating Resilience” in recognition of ag’s enduring ability to adapt to change, especially considering the events of the last year. USDA wrote, “Agriculture is essential to everyday life, and we’ve seen the importance of American agriculture during the pandemic.”

Supreme Court Hears Case on Unions Entering Farm Property
The U.S. Supreme Court on March 22 heard arguments in Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid, which challenges a decades-old California law allowing labor union reps to access private ag workplaces to speak to farmworkers. Victoria Hassid is the Agricultural Labor Relations Board chair. On the day of the oral arguments, journalist John Stossel posted a five-minute video (“Unions Invade Private Property) featuring Cedar Point Nursery owner Mike Fahner and Pacific Legal Foundation’s Joshua Thompson.
See Government Relations Report below for more information about the case and related legislation.
>SCOTUS BLOG (articles, proceedings and orders)

Government Relations Report
In Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid (see above), Cedar Point Nursery argued the regulation essentially creates an easement and is therefore unconstitutional, as the Fifth Amendment bars the government from taking property without compensation. The attorney general, representing the ALRB, argued the regulation is narrow in focus, as it allows a limited number of organizers to enter the farm only at certain times and for a limited purpose. 
While the court considers Cedar Point Nursery, the California Legislature is also considering AB 616 (Stone, D-Carmel), which would allow labor unions to organize without holding a polling place election. This process is commonly known as “card check.” The California Chamber of Commerce this week released its 2021 list of legislation designated as “job killers.” AB 616 is a job killer because the Chamber believes the bill “leaves employees susceptible to coercion and manipulation by labor organizations.” 
Nationally, unionization rates are among the lowest in farming, fishing and forestry occupations (2.6%). Facing the stark reality of continual decline, the Cedar Point case and AB 616 are two examples of how unions are fighting to increase their membership. 

Gov. Newsom yesterday appointed assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Alameda) to fill out the term of former Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who was recently sworn in as secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 
As attorney general, Bonta is expected to focus on climate change and the environment, criminal justice, hate crimes and consumer issues. California attorneys general often advance to higher office. Vice President Kamala Harris; former Govs. George Deukmejian, Pat Brown and Jerry Brown; U.S. Chief Justice Earl Warren; and California Chief Justice Stanley Mosk previously served as attorney general.   
Bonta served nine years as a deputy city attorney in San Francisco before he was elected to the Assembly in 2012, when he became California’s first Filipino American state legislator. Bonta will also become the first Filipino American to serve as attorney general. 
The nomination is subject to confirmation by the Assembly and Senate within 90 days. Bonta is expected to be confirmed and will be up for election in 2022.  

Michael Miiller / / (916) 204-0485
With over 30 harvests, the G3 Ag Team has deep experience in winegrape hauling. Our operational expertise and agile planning combine to provide responsive service for wineries and grape growers large and small. Click on image or here to view video.
House Passes Immigration Bills
The House on March 18 passed two immigration bills:
American Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6): If enacted, the bill would offer a path to citizenship for approximately 2 million Dreamers. The bill passed on a 228-197 vote, with nine Republicans joining Democrats.
Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 1603): If enacted, the bill would create a pathway to citizenship for about 1 million ag workers and reform the H-2A guest worker program. The bill passed on a 247-174 vote with 30 Republicans joining Democrats and one Democrat voting no. Votes by California representatives: YES: Democrats (41), Republicans (3). NO: Democrats (0), Republicans (8).

According to Cornerstone Government Affairs, “Neither bill is likely to reach the necessary 60 votes in the Senate, particularly as immigration rhetoric heats up during the migration crisis at the border, as Republicans will push for border security measures alongside any bill including a path to citizenship for undocumented workers.”
Providing the very best California crop insurance services.
Newsom Recall Effort What You Need to Know
Capital Public Radio this week published a Q&A about the effort to recall and replace Gov. Gavin Newsom, including a status update and what to expect next. It also includes a state map with county-by-county data. Recall organizers announced they had submitted 2,117,730 signatures by the March 17 deadline; just under 1.5 million are needed to force the special recall election. The California Secretary of State website has a recall effort webpage with a cumulative statewide summary of valid signatures.
Federal, State Tax Day for Individuals Extended to May 17
The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced the federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year will be automatically extended from April 15 to May 17, 2021. Consistent with the IRS, the state Franchise Tax Board announced it has postponed the state tax filing and payment deadline for individual taxpayers to May 17. With federal and state, the postponement does not apply to estimated tax payments that are due on April 15. 
A Commitment to Green
April is California Wines Down to Earth Month, an annual tribute to the California winemaking community’s decades-long commitment to sustainable winegrowing. Many of California’s wineries will be celebrating throughout April with sustainably-focused virtual events, socially distanced in-person experiences, and special discounts on wine and shipping fees.
USDA Announces Additional Aid, Accepting CFAP Applications on April 5
USDA is implementing updates to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) for producers of ag commodities marketed in 2020 who faced market disruptions due to COVID-19. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the expansion of CFAP on March 24. This is part of a larger effort to reach a greater share of farming operations and improve USDA pandemic assistance. CFAP updates include the reopening of CFAP 2, for which winegrape growers are eligible. USDA will offer multiple options for producers to apply for CFAP 2 when signup opens on April 5.

>USDA PRESS RELEASE (After identifying gaps in previous aid, USDA announces ‘pandemic assistance for producers’ to distribute resources more equitably / March 24)
COVID-19 Resources and Articles

Widespread/purple = 8 (March 16 = 11)
Substantial/red = 39 (March 16 = 42)
Moderate/orange = 9 (March 16 = 4)
Minimal/yellow = 2 (March 16 = 1)

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Press release, March 25

Sonoma County Winegrowers, March 22

No 'March Miracle' State Water Supply Allocations Updated
Since March did not deliver much-needed rain, state and federal agencies have adjusted water supply allocations:
DWR (press release): The department now expects to deliver 5% of requested supplies this year, down from the initial allocation of 10% announced in December. “We are now facing the reality that it will be a second dry year for California and that is having a significant impact on our water supply,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth.
Reclamation (press release): Ag water service contractors south-of-Delta allocation of 5% of their contract supply is not available for delivery until further notice. 
State Water Resources Control Board (notice and press release): Early warning notices were mailed to approximately 40,000 ag water users and others urging them to plan for potential shortages by reducing water use and adopting practical conservation measures.
Executive Order to Help Communities Recovering from Wildfires
Gov. Newsom this week issued an executive order to further assist communities impacted by last fall’s devastating wildfires. The order extends the state’s prohibition on price gouging for counties impacted by various wildfires in August and September 2020.

Participate in 2021 Advocacy Day!
Join CAWG members and staff for 2021 Advocacy Day on April 21 (9-11:30 a.m.).
CAWG’s state advocacy team – led by Tom Slater, CAWG Government Relations Committee chair; Michael Miiller, CAWG director of government relations; and Jackson Gualco, The Gualco Group – is planning an exciting and informative morning with key legislators and top regulatory officials.
You will hear about priority bills and issues facing the wine industry and find out how you can take action by engaging on issues. Complimentary registration for all CAWG members! Please consider sponsoring this important event.

CAWG Dues and Membership Directory
Make sure your CAWG dues are current by March 31.
Otherwise, you'll miss your opportunity to be listed in CAWG's 2021 Membership Directory (digital only). This annual publication is a great way to be seen in the winegrape industry. The membership directory is a valuable communications vehicle that features grower member listings, associate member listings and additional valuable informational content. If you have membership questions, call the CAWG office at 916-379-8995. 

  • Deadline to secure ad: March 31
  • Deadline to submit artwork: April 15

Social Media and Sustainability
The Vineyard Team’s March 18 podcast features Craft & Cluster’s Heather Daenitz, who helps wine brands tell their grape-to-glass story with photography and social media. The pandemic showed many brands how social media is an important means of communication. 
>PODCAST (25 minutes)
An April 22 webinar will cover how to communicate sustainability and social equity practices online. The hosts will also highlight handy social media tips.

Western Farm Press, March 25
Western Farm Press, March 25
UC and Lodi growers hold water management workshops. Written by Ted Rieger.
Wine Business, March 24
California AgNet/American Vineyard Magazine, March 24
The Press Democrat, March 23
With the possibility of another drought, knowing how water is allocated can make it easier to understand the difficult tradeoffs water managers must make in times of scarcity.
Public Policy Institute of California, March 22
Public Policy Institute of California, March 15


21 / CAWG Advocacy Day - virtual

22 / CAWG PAC Wine Tasting Event - virtual