Your source for CAWG and industry news
September 14, 2017

October 19
CAWG PAC fundraiser, Madera

November 9-10
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Lodi

January 23-25, 2018
Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, Sacramento

February 22-23, 2018
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Temecula 

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Government Relations Capitol Report

This week we are pleased to report that two bills that CAWG opposed have been substantially amended to address concerns.
AB 450 (Chiu) originally placed duties on the employer to notify workers when ICE visited the workplace and prohibited employers from allowing ICE access without a search warrant. The bill was recently amended as follows: Eliminate enforcement through a private attorney general lawsuit, eliminate the reporting requirement to the labor commissioner if ICE visits the workplace, allow I-9 inspections by ICE and allow simple notification of workers through a form created by the labor commissioner.  
AB 1008 (McCarty) was amended four times in the Senate and has been substantially reduced in scope and effect. Initially the bill expanded upon regulations already in place at the Fair Employment and Housing Council and made it nearly impossible to refuse to hire someone who had a prior criminal conviction. This bill is now more reasonable and workable than the existing regulation.
For both of these bills, CAWG joined the Chamber of Commerce, Farm Bureau, Wine Institute and all other industry groups in removing our opposition .   

The first year of the 2017-18 legislative session ends tomorrow. We will provide an update on other legislation in the days ahead.
-- Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995 
Reminder: Use NEW Form I-9 Starting Sept. 18
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on July 17 released a revised version of  
Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification . Beginning Sept. 18, employers must use the new form with the revision date of 07/17/17 N. The old version is not compliant after Sept. 17, so it will not be accepted.  Employers must continue following existing storage and retention rules for any previously completed Form I-9.
Among the changes to the NEW Form I-9
The list of acceptable documents section has changes in the NEW Form I-9:
  • The Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) has been added to List C. Employers completing Form I-9 on a computer are now able to select Form FS-240 from the drop-down menu in List C of section 2 and section 3.
  • All the certifications of report of birth issued by the U.S. Department of State (Form FS-545, Form DS-1350, and Form FS-240) are now combined into selection C #2 in List C.
  • All List C documents have been renumbered except the Social Security card. Read carefully.

Kern County Crop Report: Grapes Maintain Top Spot
The 2016 Kern County crop report, released Sept. 12, shows the total gross value of agricultural commodities in the county was $7,187,944,340. Grapes (all) maintained the No. 1 spot, valued at $1,659,431,000. Grapes (all) were followed by almonds, citrus, pistachios and milk. For winegrapes (crushed), harvested acres totaled 29,700. Production was 233,000 tons with a total value of $69,559,000. The numbers for 2015 were 259,000 tons with a total value of $78,544,000.

CDFA to Federal Officials: Come West to Talk Trade, Visit Farms
CDFA Secretary Karen Ross and nearly 20 California agricultural organizations have extended an invitation to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to visit California for trade discussions. The trip will give them an opportunity to visit farming operations and discuss trade priorities with California agricultural trade stakeholders - representing more than 30 boards, commissions, marketing orders, cooperatives and associations.

"Spring Forward" and "Fall Back" Will Continue in California - For Now
According to an article in the Sacramento Bee, Assemblyman Kansen Chu (D-San Jose) is shelving a bill this session that would adopt a permanent daylight saving time, but said he will move forward with it again in January. Chu proposed a similar effort last year, but it was defeated in the state Senate. Chu's AB 807 would eliminate the twice-annual changing of the clocks and keep the state on daylight saving time year-round (it is currently from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November). The U.S. Department of Transportation lists three main reasons for why it is observed. Hawaii and Arizona do not observe daylight saving time.
Did you know that farmers were opposed to daylight saving time when it was first implemented in 1918? Read more... 


Former Senators Launch Farmers for Free Trade
Former U.S. Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) recently launched a bipartisan nonprofit organization - Farmers for Free Trade - that intends to support and expand export opportunities for American farmers and ranchers. Through grassroots efforts, the organization wants to mobilize a coalition of farmers, ranchers and other stakeholders across the U.S. that would take action to support beneficial trade agreements and oppose proposals that would hurt the export of U.S. products.
>OP-ED BY BAUCUS AND LUGAR: Four ways to rebuild consensus on ag trade

Heat spike topped off 'extremely challenging' season marked by mildew in some varieties. CAWG members Craig Ledbetter and Bruce Fry interviewed.
Wines & Vines, Sept. 13
Thunderstorms were the latest challenge for a volatile harvest season marked by heat spikes, humidity and rain sprinkles. CAWG members John Balletto, Karissa Kruse and Brian Clements interviewed.
The Press Democrat, Sept. 13
Sonoma County Winegrowers has posted its latest harvest update covering Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Alexander Valley, Sonoma Valley and Chalk Hill.
Sonoma County Winegrowers, Sept. 7

Union dues from hundreds of farmworkers will be diverted to pay off a $1.2 million judgment against the UFW over the union's treatment of its organizers. 
Los Angeles Times, Sept. 12
Sonoma County is advancing plans for five vineyards to build housing for more than 170 farmworkers.
The Press Democrat, Sept. 8

In lab studies and vineyard trials in several states, including those at UC Riverside, this form of biocontrol has proven ef fective in preventing vines from developing the disease.
Western Farm Press, Sept. 13
Vine mealybug feeds on the roots, trunk, cane, leaves and fruit clusters of the vine where it excretes sticky honeydew.
Western Farm Press, Sept. 13

For this new strategic think tank, experts will meet twice annually to discuss how to solve challenges facing Sonoma County's wine and agricultural industries.
Press release, Sept. 12

Upcoming Elections for CAWG Board
CAWG logo no words
The CAWG board of directors works to establish the priorities and goals that keep CAWG focused on issues most important to winegrape growers. You can add to that effort by serving on the board or by supporting the nomination of a peer. Directors serve three consecutive three-year terms.
The CAWG nominating committee has nominated candidates for vacant director positions, but any CAWG grower member may secure a nomination by having a petition signed (link below) by at least 10 members in good standing from the district in which he/she is seeking election. It is possible for two or more candidates to vie for the same director position, in which a director will be chosen by election.

If you want your name to appear on the ballot or wish to nominate a candidate, a properly signed petition must be received in the CAWG office by Oct. 13. Official election ballots will be mailed around Oct. 20.

Nominations for vacant director seats are:
District 1 - Seat F nominee to be announced soon
District 3 - Bob Lauchland, Robert Lauchland Vineyards 
District 5 - Paul Wulf, Wulf Vineyards
District 6 - Mike Vandborg, Walter Castle Farms, LLC/Vandborg Farms

If you have any questions on current members in your area, please contact Natalie Collins at 916-379-8995.

CAWG Grower of the Year Tribute
For those who were unable to attend the CAWG Summer Conference, you can watch a 6-minute video of the Grower of the Year Award presentation and tribute - recently posted by California AgNet. The video features Craig Ledbetter's presentation about Brad and Randall Lange and the slide show.

Pesticide Safety Training Workshops
The UCIPM program and AgSafe are offering pesticide safety instructor training workshops in October and November throughout the state. The all-day workshops are for ag supervisors, growers, farm labor contractors, safety managers and safety trainers.  The course meets the requirements established by the revised Worker Protection Standard, which is mandated by EPA and DPR. Participants who complete the training will be qualified to provide pesticide safety training to fieldworkers and pesticide handlers under these revised regulations. Cost is $200 per person.


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Independent Grape Growers of Paso Robles - Educational Seminar
WHEN: Sept. 20 / 1-4 p.m.
WHERE: J. Lohr Vineyard & Winery, Paso Robles
TOPICS: Advances in mechanical harvesting, unfair business and labor practices, and harvest pre-check (testing, tracking data, weather).

7th Annual Ag Labor Issues Forum
WHEN: Nov. 15-16
WHERE: Tachi Palace, Lemoore


-New Laws and Regulations for 2018 

-Work Stoppage, Demand for Higher Wages
-Understanding the H-2A Visa Process - Costs and Benefits

-Designing Employee Benefit Plans for Today's Ag Workforce

-Best Practices to Control Work Comp Claim Costs

-Updates on WPS Pesticide Safety Training Requirements


2017 Sustainable Ag Expo
WHEN: Nov. 13-15
WHERE: Madonna Inn Expo Center, San Luis Obispo

A multi-day seminar and tradeshow for farmers, ag professionals and PCAs.  Winegrape-specific sessions focus on vine mealybug management, virus management, red blotch, Pierce's disease, vineyard development, plant material and disease considerations, and vineyard mechanization.