Your source for CAWG and industry news
September 13 , 2018

November 7
CAWG PAC reception, Santa Maria

November 7-8
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Santa Ynez

January 29-31
Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, Sacramento

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NBC News Video: The Future of Farming Without Farmworkers
In a kind of mini-documentary produced by NBC News, CAWG member Brad Goehring talks about the challenges of the ongoing labor shortage and the move to mechanization. The four-minute video features interview segments with Goehring interspersed with amazing visuals (ground and aerial) of vineyards. 

Government Relations Report

The legislative session has now ended and the state Capitol is a virtual ghost town. The focus for lawmakers has shifted from Sacramento to their districts -- more specifically to their voters and the upcoming election. In the next few weeks, eNews will discuss some of the more interesting races to watch.
In the Senate, the most hotly contested race will be to replace termed-out Sen. Anthony Cannella (R-Modesto) in a district that represents much of the Central Valley and the Salinas Valley. Running to replace him is Assemblywoman Anna Caballero (D-Salinas) and County Supervisor Rob Poythress (R-Madera). While the party registration favors Democrats by a 46-27 percent margin, 22 percent of the voters have no party preference and nearly 70 percent of the voters live in the Central Valley.  
Whether the big wave sweeping the nation in November is blue or red is yet to be known. But in California, where President Trump's disapproval rating is hovering around 70 percent, that wave is a bright blue for sure. 
One might presume that the committees that consider agricultural legislation might hear legislation that is most critical to growers -- labor being one such critical issue. However, the Senate Agriculture Committee, for example, does not hear labor legislation at all. In fact, it is so narrow in focus that it heard only 17 bills in the entire 2017-18 legislative session.   
Conversely, the Senate and Assembly committees that hear labor bills heard 185 measures over the same two-year period. Because they apply to growers, CAWG was engaged in many of those bills. Currently on the governor's desk, there are 40 bills that propose changes in California labor law. 
Gov. Brown has until Sept. 30, 2018 to sign or veto legislation.  Fisher Phillips (CAWG associate member) has prepared this   handy guide  that breaks down the most significant labor measures by subject matter, with links to the actual bill language and other materials. It also makes some predictions (no guarantees) about whether Brown will sign or veto these measures. 

-- Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995 

State Capitol Advocates Visit Lodi Vineyard for Sustainability Tour
CAWG Director of Government Relations Michael Miiller joined Assemblyman Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) on a Lodi wine country tour on Sept. 6. Kyle Lerner and the team at Harney Lane Winery & Vineyard (including wine dog Charlie) provided a group of Capitol advocates with a very informational tour discussing sustainability, Lodi's rich wine heritage and the harvest season.

Senate Ag Committee Holds Hearing on U.S. Ag Trade
The Senate Agriculture Committee today held a hearing titled "Perspectives on U.S. Agricultural Trade" that focused on the impact of U.S. trade policy on American agriculture. Witnesses included USDA's chief economist, USDA's undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, and the chief agricultural negotiator from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. 

Summary from C-SpanSenators asked for updates on the administration's efforts to reach new trade deals with Canada, Mexico, China and Japan. Senators talked about their home states' agricultural exports and how escalating trade tensions have negatively impacted price points, stability and the ability to access foreign markets. Some senators questioned the efficacy of eschewing multilateral trade pacts in favor of bilateral deals, which they said are taking too long to complete at the expense of American farmers and producers.

'Tariffs Hurt the Heartland' Campaign Gets Help from New Coalition
Farmers for Free Trade has joined forces with Americans for Free Trade (a new coalition) in its multimillion dollar national campaign against tariffs.  The campaign aims to "tell the stories of the American farmers, businesses, workers and families harmed by tariffs through town-hall style events, grassroots outreach to Congress and the administration, social media, rapid response and digital advertising." The campaign received substantial media coverage this week, including a brief plug on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Western Farmworkers Tuning to La Campesina Radio for Immigration-Related Resources
Farmworkers in Western states and across the border are increasingly listening to radio network La Campesina specifically for its immigration-related programming, according to an article in Politico. Among the programming it provides is a popular segment that focuses on what farmworkers can do if approached by an ICE agent.  Hosts receive on-air phone calls from farmworkers who've encountered ICE and are willing to share their stories. The network is operated by the Cesar Chavez Foundation.

Leaders Convene for CDFA's Climate Smart Ag Event in Sonoma County
California farmers, government and business leaders, and climate stakeholders gathered this week for the Scaling-Up Climate Smart Agriculture event in Petaluma. Presenters spoke about crop production, soil health, land conservation, sustainability, public policy and climate smart agricultural practices. Katie Jackson and Julien Gervreau of Jackson Family Wines (CAWG member) were among the numerous speakers; Jackson was introduced by Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa). 

U.S. wine exports to China were up 14 percent in value to $38.4 million for January through June 2018, compared to the same time period last year, despite the continued threat of increased China tariffs.
Wine Institute, Sept. 12
The omnivorous leafroller can cause serious damage in California's Central Valley and coastal vineyards.
Western Farm Press, Sept. 12
Growers can take measures to lessen the effects of smoke exposure; only at high levels does smoke decrease the quality of wines.
Western Farm Press, Sept. 12
Growers are already laying the groundwork for the 2019 vintage.
Napa Valley Register, Sept. 12
September edition


A recent presentation by U.S. Chamber of Commerce trade expert focused on trade and tariffs, impact on California and NAFTA.
California Chamber of Commerce, Sept. 11

Hearing on Proposal to Extend State Water Project Contracts
After two postponements, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee this week held an informational hearing on the proposed State Water Project contract changes. The Legislative Analyst's Office discussed the importance of legislative oversight and presented " Overview of the State Water Project and Proposed Contract Amendment." One of the questions in the document:  What are the anticipated fiscal effects of these contract amendments for the residents, businesses and farmers  who ultimately pay for SWP costs through their water rates?


>EDITORIAL: State Water Project - Our most important infrastructure (Capitol Weekly)

Governor Releases Climate Change Assessment
California's Fourth Climate Change Assessment -- released the end of August -- provides information to build resilience to climate impacts, including temperature, water (impacts to agriculture), wildfire, sea level rise, communities and governance. 
>ARTICLE: Climate change report: California to see 77 percent more land burned (SF Chronicle)