June 6, 2019
YOUR SOURCE FOR CAWG AND INDUSTRY NEWS. FOR CAWG MEMBERS ONLY.
CAWG SUMMER CONFERENCE
Learn From These Outstanding Speakers!
Keynote Address
Speaker: Corey Beck, CEO, Francis Ford Coppola Winery  
Francis Ford Coppola Winery has compiled an enviable track record of growth and expansion, and introduced new and innovative products to the marketplace. With a keen eye on current trends and future opportunities, Beck will share his vision for the winery and California’s wine industry. 

Session 1: What’s Driving the Trend in Industry Acquisitions and Consolidation?
Speaker: Mario Zepponi, Zepponi & Company

Session 2: Controversy and Fear Over Crop Protection Tools – What is the Real Story?
Speaker: Jay Vroom, Vroom Leigh Agriculture, LLC

Session 3: Strategies to Secure and Retain a Viable, Productive Workforce
Speakers: Mike Testa, Coastal Vineyard Care; Carlos Castaneda, Castaneda & Sons/Sarc, Inc.; Earl Hall, Hall Management Corp.

Session 4: Utilizing the Crush Report to Make Sound Business Decisions
Speakers: Jeff Bitter, Allied Grape Growers; Gabriel Froymovich, Vineyard Financial Associates


REGISTRATION / SPONSORSHIPS:  Registration and additional details are available on the  CAWG website . Please contact the CAWG office at 916-379-8995 or  info@cawg.org  if you are interested in sponsorship opportunities. 

CAWG FOUNDATION GOLF TOURNAMENT:  June 26 at the Sonoma Golf Club. Register on the CAWG website .
TOP NEWS ITEMS
CAWG Applauds Federal Funding for Disaster Aid, Smoke Exposure Research
The House of Representatives on June 3 passed a disaster assistance bill that offers up to $19.1 billion to aid the recovery of communities, businesses and farmers affected by wildfires, hurricanes and flooding. With the bill’s passage and the expected signature of the president, California growers who experienced wildfire-related losses in 2018, including losses related to smoke exposure, will be able to apply for assistance payments from the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program (WHIP), which is administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency. > CAWG PRESS RELEASE

In addition, the House Appropriations Committee on June 4 approved a bill that includes $1.5 million in research funding to address issues related to smoke exposed winegrapes. The committee approved the fiscal year 2020 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies bill on a 29 to 21 vote. > CAWG PRESS RELEASE
Government Relations Report
A NEW FARMER IN THE CALIFORNIA SENATE
One might think the races for political office were over and done with at the conclusion of the November elections. But when then-Sen. Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado Hills) was elected to the California State Board of Equalization, he had to resign his position in the Senate. The special election to fill that vacant Senate seat was on Tuesday, June 4.
 
In that election, Assemblymember Brian Dahle (R-Lassen County), a farmer, defeated Assemblymember Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin). CAWG supported Dahle. 
 
Upon conceding, Kiley stated, “Today’s election did not go our way. Although some ballots remain to be counted, it’s not enough to overcome our current deficit of 53 percent to 47 percent. Congratulations to Senator-elect Brian Dahle. I wish him the best in his new position.”
 
When sworn in, Dahle will join 10 other Republican senators, including Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Red Bluff), who is a rancher. Together, Nielsen and Dahle will provide the Senate with in-depth, first-hand knowledge of what is important to the ag industry and how pending legislation affects growers and ranchers.
 
In the next few weeks the governor will announce the date of the special election to replace Dahle in the Assembly.

> SACRAMENTO BEE ARTICLE (Dahle defeats Kiley in Senate District 1 race)

-Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / 916-379-8995
Streamlining the H-2A Process
Due to labor shortages, more and more growers are turning to the complicated and costly H-2A guest worker program to meet labor demands. During a presentation to Sonoma County growers today, U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) officials were excited to announce that proposed regulations to modernize and streamline the H-2A process will be released in the next few weeks. DOL staffers encouraged growers to go to its  website to sign up to receive notification of the regulations when they are made public. CAWG joins DOL in encouraging growers to sign up for the notification and to share concerns and comments when the regulations are released. As the availability of labor declines, it is important that the H-2A program works effectively. 
Vineyard Projects Receive Funding Through CDFA's Healthy Soils Program
More than two dozen vineyard operations were among the 217 projects that received $12.48 million in funding through CDFA’s Healthy Soils Program (HSP). The HSP Incentives Program and HSP Demonstration Projects encourage farmers and ranchers to implement practices that reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases, sequesters carbon in soils and improves soil health. For example, CAWG member Beckstoffer Vineyards is using funds to focus on cover crops, reduced tillage and a compost application. To see all of the vineyard projects, download the PDF and type “vineyard” in the find/search box.


Tariffs on Mexican Goods Could Jeopardize USMCA Ratification
As of last week, there was positive progress with the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), but potential tariffs on Mexican goods could be a setback. President Trump is threatening to impose a 5 percent tariff on all Mexican goods, starting June 10, if Mexico doesn’t take action to curb the number of migrants entering the U.S. via the southern border. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), said in a  statement that “following through on this threat would seriously jeopardize passage of USMCA” and he is urging the president to consider other options. According to news reports, U.S. and Mexican officials were meeting this week in Washington, D.C. for negotiations. The  U.S. Border Patrol reported that it made 132,887 apprehensions on the Southwest border in May.
usa_flag.jpg
U.S. Senate Ag Committee Trade Hearing Slated for June 13
The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry will hold a hearing titled, “Certainty in Global Markets for the U.S. Agriculture Sector.” Speakers include officials from the U.S. Trade Representative and USDA. The hearing begins at 9:30 a.m. ET.


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CAWG RECEPTION AND DINNER
SPECIAL GUEST: Retired U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln, Former Chair of Senate Ag Committee
All CAWG members are invited to attend.

WHEN: June 24 / reception at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m.
WHERE: Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, Sonoma Valley Room & Breeze Way Lawn

Retired Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) is the former chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. She was the first woman and the first Arkansan to serve as chair of this committee. Lincoln is touring California to discuss the value of trade for U.S. farmers, including winegrape growers. She is a staunch advocate for open markets and free trade, and now on behalf of U.S. farmers, she’s advocating for Senate ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Join us for an stimulating evening of discussion about the current state of U.S. trade policies and agricultural exports.


RESEARCH
American Vineyard Foundation Provides $1.5M for Industry Research in 2019-20
The American Vineyard Foundation (AVF) announced the funding of 26 projects addressing critical viticulture and enology research needs. Nineteen of the projects are being conducted by California entities: UC Davis, UC Berkeley, UC Cooperative Extension, Fresno State and the Lodi Winegrape Commission. AVF relies on voluntary contributions to support ongoing research and to provide funding for new high priority projects.

 
RESOURCES
It's California Invasive Species Week
The sixth annual event promotes the fight against invasive species that harm the state's environment, agriculture and native species. Check out the  California Department of Fish and Wildlife website to see how agencies, nonprofits and volunteer groups are involved.

ARTICLES OF INTEREST
Vineyards and Wine
Read about the NGRA delegation’s recent visit to D.C. to meet with federal agencies about grape research and funding, plus research updates.
May issue 

Op-ed about the California Consumer Privacy Act, written by John Kautz is chairman of Ironstone Winery and owner of Kautz Farms.
Modesto Bee, June 4

Monterey County Ag Commissioner Henry Gonzalez is interviewed.
Ag Net West, May 31
Water
Half of the reservoirs are more than 115 percent of historical average.
June 5

In “The Dreamt Land,” author Mark Arax unpacks the Golden State’s complicated history with its most precious resource, from the 1700s to now.
Rolling Stone, June 6
 
Interview with Dr. Doug Parker, director of the California Institute for Water Resources.
Western Farm Press, June 5

"Use it or lose it" is what state and federal water managers are wrestling with following one of the biggest precipitation years in state history.
KTVU, May 29
Agriculture & Trade
UPCOMING EVENTS
Independent Grape Growers - Paso Robles Area / Summer Seminars
June 19: Summer in the Vineyard
July 17: Growing Cycle: Studies & Options for Bird Pest Control Pre- & Post Veraison
Aug. 21: Growing Cycle: Preparing for Harvest - Grape Test Before You Harvest


CALENDAR
June 24
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Sonoma

June 25
CAWG Summer Conference, Sonoma

June 25
CAWG Awards of Excellence Program and Dinner, Sonoma

June 26
CAWG Foundation Golf Tournament, Sonoma