Your source for CAWG and industry news
 May 17, 2018

May 30
Grower Meeting - Taxes + State & Federal Updates

May 31
CAWG PAC Reception, Napa

July 16
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Napa

July 17
CAWG Summer Conference, Napa

July 17
CAWG Awards of Excellence Program and Dinner, Napa

July 18
CAWG PAC Golf Tournament, Napa

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Farm Bill Debate Underway in House
The U.S. House of Representatives began consideration of the farm bill  yesterday (view all actions to H.R. 2). Politico reported that the debate got off to a heated start, with Democrats forcefully opposing it and Republicans warning against amendments that could threaten the bill's fate in the House. A House vote is expected tomorrow.
Earlier this week, House Ag Committee Chair Michael Conaway offered remarks on the farm bill to the House Rules Committee. He acknowledged that "the process has become partisan - and that is unfortunate. That said, the ranking member and I did work very closely in crafting the lion's share of the farm bill."
The Trump administration on Tuesday showed support for the farm bill in a statement of administration policy. It concluded, " The Administration supports a multi-year farm bill that provides long-term certainty to rural America and promotes regulatory and spending reforms across farm and nutrition programs. Overall, H.R. 2 is a positive step in that direction. If H.R. 2 were presented to the President in its current form, his advisors would recommend that he sign the bill into law."   

Congressman Introduces Amendment to Repeal WOTUS Rule in Farm Bill
Congressman Jim Banks (R-Ind.) last week introduced an amendment to the farm bill that would permanently repeal the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. "...the House has an opportunity to permanently eliminate one of the worst examples of runaway government and unaccountable bureaucracy by the Obama administration," Banks said in a speech on the House floor. "This rule gives unelected bureaucrats at the EPA the power to broadly interpret what is a navigable waterway. This rule can be interpreted in a way where even a puddle can be considered a navigable waterway subject to federal regulation."

In Case You Missed It: California Supreme Court Rules on Independent Contractors
In a major employment law ruling, the California Supreme Court on April 30 made it tougher for employers to classify their workers as independent contractors. The case involved delivery service truck drivers, but it could affect nearly every other industry. CAWG member Fisher Phillips said, "This decision is a seismic shift for California wage and hour law and class litigation." 

In a LEGAL ALERT, Fisher Phillips breaks down the case and what it means moving forward.

Government Relations Capitol Report
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is suing the State of California over three "sanctuary state" laws aimed at blocking immigration enforcement by the Trump administration. A statement from the Justice Department read, "The Attorney General is fulfilling his obligation to enforce federal law, which is indispensable to the proper functioning of a free and orderly society for all Americans." 
The Trump administration was confident in its chances of winning this case as the U.S. Supreme Court has historically ruled that immigration regulation was an exclusive federal responsibility. However, that confidence may have waned a bit this week based on the Supreme Court's 7-2 ruling on sports betting.
On Monday the court struck down a 1992 federal law that prohibited every state but Nevada from allowing sports betting. The court ruled the federal anti-gambling law is unconstitutional because "it unequivocally dictates what a state legislature may and may not do. It's as if federal officers were installed in state legislative chambers and were armed with the authority to stop legislators from voting on any offending proposals."
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is defending California's "sanctuary state" laws. In doing so, Becerra may lean heavily on this new Supreme Court ruling. 
-- Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995  
OEHHA Report: Impacts of Climate Change Increasingly Stark
Drought, wildfires, snowmelt, temperature, vector-borne diseases and greenhouse gas emissions are among the 36 indicators that show how climate change is negatively affecting California, according to a new report from CalEPA's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA). The 350-page report highlights these indicators, which are scientifically-based measurements that track trends in various aspects of climate change. "California's climate leadership is unquestioned, and this report builds on the essential scientific foundation that informs our efforts to respond to climate change," said California Secretary for Environmental Protection Matthew Rodriquez.

Make Your Voice Heard in the Nation's Capital! 
2018 National WInegrape Policy Conference
This conference is a valuable opportunity for winegrape growers to make a difference. You will visit federal lawmakers with growers from around the country, as well as participate in discussions on immigration legislation, free trade, the farm bill and research funding. It will be held  June 18-20 at the Renaissance Washington, D.C.




Bonny Doon founder Randall Grahm's iconoclastic obsession will involve breeding new varietals from scratch and growing them where grapes have never been grown before.
The New Yorker, May 21 issue
The California Court of Appeal recently handed a victory to winemakers, ruling that a specific Prop 65 warning is not required regarding the presence of inorganic arsenic.
JD Supra, May 15
UC Davis' Kaan Kurtural, UCCE's Monica Cooper and CAWG members are interviewed or featured in the article.
Wine Business Monthly, May issue

As wildfires increase in frequency across the globe, researchers hunt the smoke compounds that can seep into vineyards' grapes and taint wine. UCCE's Anita Oberholster was interviewed.

Chemical & Engineering News, May 7
Reports on California, Argentina, Chile, France, Spain, Italy, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
Ciatti Company


The executive order would combat dangerous tree mortality, increase the ability of the state's forests to capture carbon and systematically improve forest management.
Press release, May 15
Gov. Jerry Brown's revised budget, released May 11, includes $60 million in grant funds to replace old diesel vehicles and build new resource-saving food production facilities.
Western Farm Press, May 11
Gov. Brown's revised 2018-19 state budget > click here

CAWG Summer Conference: Presentation Topics Announced
CAWG logo no words
We had a great turnout last year at the Silverado Resort and Spa, so we are headed back and hoping for even stronger attendance this year!
JULY 16 : CAWG board of directors meeting.
JULY 17 : CAWG Summer Conference.
The speaker program sessions are: Competing on a Global Stage, Technology Trends in the Vineyard, Driving Deeper into the Future of Winegrape Trucking, and Before the Harvest-State of the Industry. Stay tuned for the announcement of the keynote speaker!  
JULY 17 : 7th annual Awards of Excellence Program - includes reception and dinner, plus awards ceremony for CAWG Leader of the Year and CAWG Grower of the Year.
JULY 18 : 7th annual CAWG PAC Golf Tournament at the Silverado Resort Golf Course.
HOTEL: CAWG has negotiated a discounted room rate of $249 at the Silverado Resort and Spa (book by June 15 for this rate). To book under the CAWG room block, contact the hotel at 707-257-5440.
SPONSORSHIPS: Please contact the CAWG office at 916-379-8995 if you are interested in sponsorship opportunities. 

Mendocino Grower Education Meeting
CAWG logo no words
Join CAWG, Mendocino County Farm Bureau and Mendocino Winegrowers for a meeting discussing tax reform and what the new tax laws mean for your operation. CAWG staff will also discuss the current climate of the California Legislature and federal issues, such as immigration reform and FDA's Produce Safety Rule.
WHEN: May 30 / 11 a.m. registration, 11:30 a.m. meeting
WHERE: Brutocao Cellars, Hopland

Meet the New Viticulture Farm Advisors
Brief video introductions provided by California AgNet.
-Karl Lund will cover Madera, Merced and Mariposa counties. > VIDEO

-Gabriel Torres will cover Tulare and Kings counties. > VIDEO

Farm Service Agency Announces Updates to Tree Assistance Program 
USDA's Farm Service Agency just announced recent changes to the Tree Assistance Program (TAP) resulting from the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. TAP provides financial assistance to growers to replant or rehabilitate eligible vines, trees and bushes lost by natural disasters. The changes are specific to growers who experienced damage from natural disasters on or after Jan. 1, 2017. 

Free H-2A Roundtables Slated for June
H-2A informational events - hosted by Agricultural Personnel Management Association - will be held in Salinas, Sonoma and Napa June 19-21. Presenters from the Department of Labor, Employment Development Department and law firms will cover the topics below. One of the presenters, attorney Jeanne Malitz, spoke at the 2017 CAWG Summer Conference.

*Hot topics and best practices

*Issues and trends - H-2A certification and compliance

*Issues at the border

*H-2A implications for human trafficking and workers' compensation

*Avoiding pitfalls and landmines of the program


Viticultural Research Roadshow 
WHEN: June 6 / 1-5 p.m.
WHERE: FEOC Nielsen Conference Center, Fresno
HOSTS: San Joaquin Valley Winegrowers Association and UC  Cooperative Extension
COST: $10/member; $25/non-members


UC Davis Grape Day at the Oakville Station
WHEN: June 6 / 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
WHERE: UC Davis Oakville Station, 1380 Oakville Grade Road, Oakville
COST: $45 includes breakfast, lunch and demos
DETAILS: New trellis systems, weed control options, red blotch demonstrations of mechanical shoot removal and suckering, leaf removal and harvesters.

Vineyards Economics Symposium
WHEN: June 18 / 8 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.  
WHERE: Napa Valley Marriott, Napa
DETAILS: Conference will cover vineyard economic and financial issues. Speakers include CAWG members.