August 13, 2020
Cheers to the 2020 Winegrape Harvest!
As different regions begin harvest now and in the coming weeks, we wish all of our CAWG grower members and their employees a safe and successful harvest! 

Harvest Protocols: New FAQs Document + Spanish Workbook
CAWG, Wine Institute and the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance in July developed a harvest protocols workbook and hosted a webinar to help vineyards and wineries update their Injury and Illness Prevention Program for harvest. Following the webinar, detailed answers to nearly 30 questions from participants were compiled by panelists and the workbook was translated into Spanish by Napa Valley Vintners. All items can be found on CAWG’s COVID-19 resources webpage.

>WEBINAR FAQs (15-page PDF)

House Ag Committee Dems Want More Aid for Specialty Crop Farmers
House ag subcommittee members – including Reps. Josh Harder (D-Modesto), TJ Cox (D-Fresno), Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) and Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel) – are asking USDA to do more to help specialty crop producers, as the sector continues to suffer from COVID-19 related impacts. In an Aug. 7 letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, lawmakers wrote that the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) “failed to provide equitable relief to the specialty crop sector. As of Aug. 3, USDA had provided over $6.8 billion in direct payments to domestic farmers and ranchers. Out of that total, only $270 million has been provided to specialty crop producers, representing less than 4 percent of overall assistance.” The representatives want USDA to conduct targeted outreach to specialty crop producers before CFAP’s deadline, which has been extended to Sept. 11. “Failure to support these specialty crop farmers will threaten the long-term viability of their businesses and negatively impact our communities,” they wrote.

Winegrapes Still Not on CFAP List

USDA announced on Aug. 11 that nearly 60 additional commodities are now eligible for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). Unfortunately, winegapes were not part of the additions. Now that harvest is underway, we are hopeful this will change in the weeks ahead. CAWG and other groups have been engaged in efforts to allow winegrape growers access to direct assistance.
Webinars: COVID-19 Industry Briefs for Agriculture
Join The Zenith team of experts for this webinar briefing:

AUG. 14 / 10-10:30 a.m. Employee Transportation Best Practices Under COVID-19

Resources and Articles
Ag Coalition Fights Proposition 15
Family Farmers Against Prop 15 was recently launched to help defeat the largest property tax hike in California history. The Agricultural Council of California, California Farm Bureau Federation and Western Growers Association are leading the effort. Proposition 15 would remove Proposition 13 protections for California farmers, triggering annual reassessments at market value for ag-related fixtures and improvements, including vineyards and wineries. The measure would raise taxes on commercial and industrial property by requiring reassessment at current market value at least every three years. The coalition website features more information and numerous social media images to show support.


>PDF of presentation

>RECORDING of webinar
Government Relations Report
With recent and current fires in Southern and Northern California, there is no doubt that fire season is here. The high heat in the week ahead is a warning of potentially additional fires, and employers need to be prepared. 
If there is a wildfire that exposes workers to a hazardous level of smoke (AQI above 150), employers are required to take specific actions to protect workers. This includes providing and recommending N95 masks for voluntary use.   
Even though availability of N95 masks is currently scarce and at elevated prices, the mask requirement remains. If employers cannot provide N95 masks in these situations, employers are expected to stop work. 
For five months, CAWG has been pushing for relief from this regulation. We have asked Cal/OSHA to allow for reasonable alternatives to the N95 mask. We have pushed the Health & Safety Standards Board to amend the regulation to address this issue. Those efforts continue, but so far, both agencies have declined to resolve the problem. 

This week, CAWG initiated a coalition effort to reach out to the governor’s office directly. We want Gov. Newsom to issue an executive order suspending enforcement of the regulation during the pandemic. Instead, Cal/OSHA needs to develop wildfire guidance that protects workers during this pandemic.   
We will update you on this as things develop.  

With the election only 82 days away, CAWG eNews will include a profile of an Assembly or Senate race or ballot measure every week until November. This week, Assembly District 13 is profiled. 
When Assemblymember Susan Eggman (D-Stockton) ran for Senate, it created a vacancy and three Democrats ran to replace her. Kathy Miller (D, San Joaquin County supervisor), viewed as a political insider, immediately became the frontrunner. However, she barely made the top two with Christina Fugazi (D, teacher/Stockton council member), finishing third only 30 votes behind. Carlos Villapudua (D, small business owner) finished first, nearly 3,000 votes ahead of Miller. They will now face off in November.   
This district has a history of electing ag-friendly lawmakers. Miller is endorsed in part by the Democratic Party, Eggman, Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters), several labor unions and the League of Conservation Voters. Villapudua is endorsed in part by the Lodi Association of Wineries, law enforcement, Assemblymembers Adam Gray (D-Merced) and Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove), and Nate Diaz (MMA and UFC superstar). 
Fugazi has yet to endorse either Miller or Villapudua.   

-Michael Miiller / / (916) 204-0485
H-2A Fees to Increase 85 Percent
The Department of Homeland Security recently announced a final rule that increases fees charged by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for certain immigration and naturalization benefit requests. These fees fund nearly 97 percent of the USCIS budget, so the adjustments are intended to ensure that the agency recovers its operational costs. USCIS is raising the H-2A fee a hefty 85 percent – from $460 to $850. The fees will go into effect on Oct. 2, 2020.

Speaking of H-2A, Cato Institute immigration policy analyst David Bier recently wrote an article critiquing a lengthy NBC News report on the program > Problems and insights within NBC’s report on H-2A abuses
Excessive Heat Warning in Effect
With temperatures hitting triple digits for the next several days in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys, it’s critical to take the necessary precautions to protect outdoor workers from heat illness. Employers are required to follow four steps: training, water, shade and planning. Visit the heat illness prevention websites for numerous materials, trainings and other resources.

PD/GWSS Board Updates on Nursery Programs
Nursery Stock Approved Treatment Program (ATP)
From Jan. 1 to June 30, there were 5,727 ATP shipments, consisting of approximately 1.55 million plants. No regulatory actions have been taken against any ATP nurseries for viable life stages so far this year. 

Nursery Regulatory Program
From Jan. 1 to June 30, there were 21,509 nursery stock shipments to non-infested areas of the state. Origin county inspectors have stopped five adults, six nymphs and 13 egg masses from moving in nursery stock shipments. Three enforcement actions (notices of rejection) have been issued so far this year for viable life stages of glassy-winged sharpshooter found during destination inspection of incoming nursery stock shipments. 

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 to view video.
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.
Virtual Town Hall Event Series
CAWG actively engages with legislators and candidates who consider the realities of our industry and how legislation affects winegrape growers and our workforce. 

Join us for a special virtual series – brought to you by CAWG PAC and our sponsors – with legislators who understand and support the winegrape industry.

AUG. 18 / 3 to 4 p.m.
Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R-SLO) – INVITE

AUG. 20 / 3 to 4 p.m.
Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa) – INVITE

Need to Take A DPR Licensing Exam?
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) Licensing and Certification Program has contracted with a company to administer exams for DPR licenses and certificates. The exams should be rolling out through September. Click here to read more details and how to sign up for DPR’s electronic mailing list for updates.

Vineyards & Wine

Ciatti Company

Turrentine Brokerage

A new statewide order affecting how wineries dispose of water could undermine existing regional solutions and would impose new costs.
Ag Alert, Aug. 12

Sonoma County Winegrowers President Karissa Kruse is quoted.
Western Farm Press, Aug. 12

The winery will add the CCSW logo to its Vintners Reserve Chardonnay, the nation’s No. 1 selling wine.
American Vineyard, Aug. 4