Your source for CAWG and industry news
July 13, 2017

July 17
CAWG PAC Golf Tournament, Napa

July 17
CAWG Awards of Excellence Program and Dinner, Napa

July 18
CAWG Summer Conference, Napa

July 19
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Napa

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Good News on Winegrape Exemption from Produce Safety Rule
CAWG scored a significant advance in obtaining a more complete winegrape exemption from FDA's Produce Safety Rule, a positive result that is directly linked to CAWG's D.C. lobbying trip in June and the efforts of Cornerstone Government Affairs.
The House Appropriations Committee on July 12 approved the FY 2018 agriculture appropriations bill by voice vote. In the bill report, it urged FDA to recognize the distinction between grape varietals consumed raw and those used for wine. The report language, which is highly influential, is as follows:

page 66 of the report ).

"Grape Varietals.-The Committee is aware that the FDA has excluded certain produce that is rarely consumed raw from having to comply with the FSMA Produce Safety Final Rule entitled ''Standards for Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption.'' There is concern that the FDA has not been able to distinguish between grape varietals that are consumed raw and those that are grown, harvested and used for wine and further processing. The Committee directs the FDA to initiate a process within 30 days of enactment of this Act that makes a distinction between grape varietals so that wine grape varietals may be included on the list of produce that is rarely consumed raw."
The report language will represent an official statement of the committee and provide important leverage for CAWG in future conversations with FDA.

Specialty Crops Hearing Features California Agriculture Reps
California was well represented at Wednesday's House Agriculture Committee hearing on specialty crops. Committee members were exploring how innovation and technology are vital to help specialty crop farmers farm more efficiently. California Farm Bureau Federation President Paul Wenger and Driscoll's CEO Kevin Murphy were among the witnesses who encouraged Congress to support new technologies in the 2018 farm bill. Wenger referred to winegrapes in his six pages of testimony: " Mechanized machinery for the harvest of a small set of specialty crops such as nuts, winegrapes, and processing tomatoes have been commercialized and are in widespread use." He also said, " The most significant innovation that can be achieved on the farm is increased mechanization. The need arises as the pool of available workers dramatically declines. Equipment, robotics and other tools can help offset the growing labor shortage. If we don't aggressively invest in the development of new technologies, the consequence will be to lose a large share of our nation's specialty crop production."

Government Relations Capitol Report
Otto von Bismarck said, "Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made." SB 252 (Dodd) is an example of the sausage-making of writing law. SB 252, as introduced in February, would have required an extensive costly public notice and hearing process for new well applications in critically overdrafted basins. Since early April this bill has been amended seven times. Fortunately, the most recent amendments rewrite SB 252 substantially and appear to address agricultural industry concerns. As approved this week by the Assembly Local Government Committee, the bill no longer contains provisions that open well applicants to increased litigation, delays or additional costs. Additionally, the amendments respect local control and the SGMA process already in place. Consequently, many ag groups are already withdrawing opposition. These amendments will be in print soon and CAWG will re-evaluate its position on SB 252 at that time. Thank you to Sen. Dodd for working with CAWG and to CAWG members for your advocacy on this bill.
Remember, sausage is a tasty source of protein...especially when paired with a wonderful riesling.

-- Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995

Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (L) with Caroline and Stanton Lange.

CAWG PAC: Thank You for Your Support!
More than 40 people attended the CAWG PAC fundraiser at Goehring Vineyards on July 11. Assemblymembers Cecilia Aguilar-Curry (D-Winters) and Heath Flora (R-Ripon) joined the attendees and made brief comments. We are grateful to the event hosts and sponsors for their generosity:

HOSTS:   Goehring Vineyards, Inc.; Creekside Farming Co., Inc.; Joe & Diego Olagaray; Kautz Farms; LangeTwins, Inc.; Robert Pirie; Scheid Vineyards; and Slater Farms, Inc.  
SPONSORS:  Acampo Machine Works; Balletto Vineyards; B.B. Vineyards; Bill Pauli; Bob Lauchland; Bogle Vineyards; Breitenbucher Farms, L.P.; Kludt Oil; DSW Ag, Inc.; Drake Enterprises; Duarte Nursery; Harney Lane Winery; Heringer Estates Family Vineyards & Winery; J. Maring Farms; Maring Farms Inc.; Marissa Ledbetter; Mel Roush Valley Vineyard; Mike Boer; Phillips Family Farming LLC; Reamer Farms/Rio Viento; Robert and Beth Lawson; Rodney Schatz; Steve Quashnick; Stokes Brothers Farms; The Murphy Companies; T&M Farms; Wilson Farms and Walsh Vineyards Management.

Napa Vineyard Owners Vote to Continue Farmworker Housing Assessment
From The Press Democrat: Napa County vineyard owners voted to continue an assessment on their property that provides for low-cost farmworker housing. Nearly 84 percent of landowners voted in favor of the assessment, which is currently $10 per planted acre annually, said a spokeswoman for Napa County. The results were released during a Napa County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday. The fee will be renewed for another five years as a result of the vote. Napa County has three centers that each house 60 seasonal farmworkers. Tenants pay $13 a day and have laundry, bathroom and kitchen facilities.

CalChamber: Indoor Heat Illness Rule Will Have Negative Impact on Businesses
A coalition of employer groups led by the California Chamber of Commerce is arguing that the Cal/OSHA proposed draft indoor heat illness rule is too burdensome for businesses and needs to be changed. In a   July 7 letter to state regulators, the coalition explains that the latest discussion draft of the indoor heat illness regulation continues to be overly complex and ambiguous and therefore will lead to a lack of compliance and inability of the state to enforce the rule. The coalition's main concerns include statutory timing requirement, the proposal is too complicated to understand and implement, and it is too costly.

New Workplace Regulations Regarding Criminal and Transgender Rights
Following a yearlong process of public comment and input, new regulations related to employment discrimination implemented by the California Fair Housing and Employment Council (FEHC) went into effect on July 1. The first set of regulations relate to an employer's use of criminal history information in employment decisions. The second set of regulations relate to gender identity and gender expression discrimination in the workplace. 


A mid-June review by Turrentine Brokerage of the number and sizes of clusters following the May bloom indicates California's winegrape growers are on track to producing an average size crop.
Western Farm Press, July 12

Award recipients include Jason Haas, Christian Roguenant and Lino Bozzano.
SLO Tribune, July 12
A House panel unveiled legislation to begin building President Trump's long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Mexico, however, will not be footing the bill.
AP News, July 12
Better wine and a new approach to tourism are set to put southern California's vineyards on the map for both wine lovers and a new wave of Chinese tourists.
European CEO, July 12
North Coast vineyard management companies and wineries have also jumped on the H-2A bandwagon this year, citing a dearth of available local farm workers. 
The Press Democrat, July 9
Donald Trump and his Mexican counterpart Enrique Pena Nieto underscored on Friday the importance of modernizing NAFTA to bring "tangible benefits" to Mexico, the United States and Canada.
New York Times, July 7
A dozen years later, pinot noir has become a mainstay of the California wine industry, and winemakers credit the film with bringing deserved attention to the varietal.
Capital Public Radio, July 5

House Passes Valadao's GROW Act
The House of Representatives on July 12 passed H.R. 23 by a 230-190 vote, largely along party lines. The legislation was introduced by Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford) - and cosponsored by 14 California Republican representatives - to modernize water policies in California and throughout the entire Western U.S. According to a press release, the Gaining Responsibility on Water (GROW) Act "provides relief to Californians by restoring water deliveries that have been drastically reduced over the last two decades as a result of various environmental lawsuits and illogical state and federal regulations." The bill will also "cut red tape holding back major water storage projects that have been authorized for over a decade, which will aid the entire Western U.S. during dry years." Gov. Jerry Brown and California's Democratic senators are opposed to the bill.

Water Articles and Resources
Now that agencies, farmers and others in affected California groundwater basins have formed local groundwater agencies, the costly and more challenging work begins, as the agencies develop groundwater management plans.
Ag Alert, July 12


FREE Farm Labor Contractor Licensing Workshops
The Department of Labor and the Labor Commissioner's Office are offering free workshops to assist current or prospective farm labor contractors. Consultants will be available for one-on-one review of first-time licensing or renewal applications. Reservations are required. Call 559-248-1894 or email to  to reserve time on a kiosk to complete the online application.

Please visit the Labor Commissioner's Office FLC website for application instructions.
Each Friday
9 - 11 a.m.
Labor Commissioner's Office
770 E. Shaw Ave., Suite 222
Date TBD
California State Building
1515 Clay Street

International Conference on Phylloxera and Nematodes at UC Davis
WHEN: Aug. 21-23
WHERE: Silverado Sensory Theater, UC Davis