February 2, 2023




This week's eNews Includes:

  • UW&GS Vineyard Automation Panel
  • CAWG PAC Event at The Torch Club
  • 2023 Unified Symposium Post-Conference Survey
  • Reminder: Renew Your CAWG Membership
  • CAWG Advocacy Day - Tuesday, March 14, 2023
  • Rich Smith Award of Excellence
  • CAWG 2022 Leader of the Year & CAWG Members Recognized as Wine Stars
  • Economic Impact of California Wine - Available by County
  • Relief for Financial Losses from National Disasters and Pandemic Webinar
  • USDA Deputy Secretary Stepping Down
  • Sustainable Pest Management Roadmap for California
  • Six Tips for Employers to Address Workplace Safety
  • USDA Announces $7.5 Million in Grant Funding
  • UC Davis Viticulture & Enology Off Campus Programs
  • Save the Date: 2023 CAWG Foundation Golf Tournament
  • Immigration and Farm Labor Conference
  • FELS AB 2183 Card Check Trainings
  • 2023 Family Business Survey

UW&GS Vineyard Automation Panel

CAWG's Director of Government Relations, Michael Miiller, led a panel during the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium to discuss vineyard automation. The 1-hour session discussed the legal, financial, and practical implications of vineyard automation.

Expert panelists included:

  • Greg Gonzalez, Foley Family Farms and CAWG Board Member
  • Theresa Kiehn, AgSafe Food & Farms
  • Philip Martin, UC Davis

Automation is now a reality in agriculture, including vineyards and what does this mean for growers?

“The question that we have to begin with, in this conversation about autonomous robotics and agriculture, specifically in the vineyard, is, Can we legally operate self-driven agricultural equipment in California?” Miiller said.

“The need for vineyard automation robotics is pretty clear. We have reduced availability of labor. I don't know any grower in California that has an abundance of workforce available to them. Sustainability and precision viticulture necessitate that we move toward the use robotics and the most available technology,” Miller continued.

A follow-up article to the panel was published by winebusiness.com.

CAWG PAC Event at The Torch Club

Thank you to all the CAWG PAC sponsors who helped host a sold-out, rockin' event at The Torch Club fundraiser on January 25! It was a great night, and everyone enjoyed the live music by CAWG's Director of Government Relations, Michael Miller, and his band, Remedy 7. Special thanks to CAWG directors Bill Berryhill and Jeff Wiens for their musical contributions!


CAWG PAC Sponsors include Allied Grape Growers, AMOS Power, Beckstoffer Vineyards Farming Services, Bluewhite, G3, Grow West, LangeTwins, Inc., Monarch Tractor, Pellenc US, Sabanto Ag, Slater Farms Inc., Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC, Valley Farm Management, Vineyard Professional Services, Inc, and Wiens Family Cellars.

2023 UW&GS Post Conference Survey

Did you attend the 2023 UW&GS? Please take a few minutes to complete this post-conference online survey by February 28, 2023.

If you have not already completed the individual session surveys, click here before February 28 to comment specifically on session content and speakers.

We look forward to seeing you next year in Sacramento at the SAFE Credit Union Convention Center, January 23-25, 2024. 

CAWG Membership Renewals - RENEW TODAY!

Don't forget to renew your CAWG membership. All first invoices were sent in November, with second invoices sent in January!

Need a copy of your invoice? Contact Natalie Collins.

CAWG Advocacy Day - Tuesday March 14, 2023

Growers Talking With Policy Makers 


A key benefit to CAWG membership is the opportunity to participate in advocacy efforts in Sacramento. This involves face-to-face meetings with key legislators, staff, and regulators. You are invited, to join your fellow growers and industry leaders, for CAWG Advocacy Day 2023, a day of grassroots lobbying in Sacramento on Tuesday, March 14. 


Our lobbying team headed by Michael Miiller, CAWG Director of Government Relations, and Jack Gualco, The Gualco Group, Inc. are planning an exciting and informative day. 

  • The day begins with breakfast at the Sutter Club and then presentations from key elected officials and Newsom Administration leaders.  
  • After lunch, we will visit legislative offices to share priority issues for California growers.  
  • The day will end with a CAWG Foundation evening reception at The Gualco Group, Inc. office. Register or sponsor here for the CAWG Foundation event.


CAWG works hard on your behalf in providing a strong voice in the State Capitol. However, hearing directly from the people who are most affected by policies coming out of Sacramento is crucial to CAWG’s efforts on your behalf. 

CAWG’s Advocacy Day is your opportunity to talk with and educate key policymakers about important issues affecting your business.  

Register today!

Rich Smith Award of Excellence - Congratulations Marty Clubb

During the Winegrape Growers of America's (WGA) annual luncheon last week during the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium, Marty Clubb was presented the Rich Smith Award of Excellence.

This award is given each year to an industry professional who exemplifies the passion, commitment, and collaboration of beloved grape grower, and winery owner, the late Rich Smith. The National Grape Research Alliance, WineAmerica, and WGA collaborate with the Smith Family to administer the award, the highest honor for each of the organizations.

Marty Clubb is the owner and managing winemaker of L'Ecole No 41, a premium winery in Walla Walla, WA. He was instrumental in starting the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance and the Enology and Viticulture program at Walla Walla Community College. He has served in key roles at the Washington State Wine Commission, Washington Wine Institute, and WineAmerica. 

Press Release

CAWG 2022 Leader of the Year & Past CAWG Director Recognized As Wine Stars

Wine Enthusiast awarded CAWG's 2022 Leader of the Year, Dr. Anita Oberholster, UC Davis, and two of her colleagues from other universities - Dr. Tom Collins of Washington State University and Dr. Elizabeth Tomasino of Oregon State University - "Innovators of the Year" for their smoke taint research. The Wine Star Awards are revered as some of the most prestigious awards in the global wine industry.

“I am very honored to be recognized alongside my colleagues for our efforts to find innovative solutions to current challenges facing the grape and wine industry,” Oberholster said. “I would also like to thank the many grape and wine industry entities and individuals that have used their influence to support our efforts to obtain funding and those that have directly supported my work.”

Congratulations to CAWG Members Jeff O'Neill of O’Neill Vintners, William Foley of Foley Family Farms, and past CAWG director, Nicholas Miller of The Thornhill Companies for their Wine Star Awards, as well.

Economic Impact of California Wine - Datta Available County by County

The Economic Impact of California Wine and Grapes report now also includes data by county, in addition to data by state and California Congressional and state legislative districts.

The report commissioned by the CAWG and Wine Institute showed how the California wine and winegrape sector and allied businesses deliver a total economic contribution of $73 billion annually to the state’s economy and $170.5 billion annually to the U.S. economy. It also found that California wineries and vineyards, directly and indirectly, support 422,000 jobs in California and 1.1 million jobs across the nation. 

Relief for Financial Losses from National Disasters and Pandemic Webinar

California Association of Winegrape Growers and the Wine Institute are hosting a free webinar on February 9, 2023, covering federal programs available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency to recoup financial losses resulting from the COVID pandemic and natural disasters occurring in 2020 and 2021.

Agency officials will review eligibility requirements and payment calculations as well as explain how to complete applications for Phase II of the Emergency Relief Program (ERP) and the Pandemic Assistance Revenue Program (PARP). Ag producers who did not hold crop insurance but experienced financial loss from a natural disaster in 2020 or 2021 qualify for Phase II of ERP. A grower who sustained a 15% or greater decrease in allowable gross revenue in 2020 qualifies for PARP.

Register Here

USDA Deputy Secretary Stepping Down

Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, Dr. Jewel Bronaugh, announced last week that she is stepping down from her position.

"Deputy Secretary Bronaugh has accomplished a lot during her tenure at USDA and much of her work will be felt well into the future. She has been instrumental in advancing equity and opportunity, strengthening the international trade relationships that benefit our domestic producers, enhancing food assistance programs to help those in need, and increasing engagement in innovation and research key to expanding sustainable agriculture practices," said Agriculture Secretary Vilsack.

"Through her work and leadership, Dr. Bronaugh has set a powerful example for the next generation of agriculture leadership. She’s broken glass ceilings as the first African American and person of color to ever serve in her role at USDA and made history while inspiring many more- especially young people- to serve in the future, within USDA and throughout the food and agricultural sector. The Department, all those who we serve, and I personally have greatly benefited from her service, knowledge and commitment to USDA’s mission, and very much respect her decision to put family first."

Statement from Agriculture Secretary Vilsack

Sustainable Pest Management Roadmap

The Department of Pesticide Regulation, the California Environmental Protection Agency, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture released the Sustainable Pest Management Roadmap to chart the course for the state's transition to sustainable pest management in both agricultural and urban settings by 2050.

“The Sustainable Pest Management Roadmap recognizes how the management of pest pressures is strongly interconnected with resilient farms and ecosystems, and the health of farmworkers and communities,” said CDFA Secretary, Karen Ross. “We have a lot of work ahead to implement the approaches outlined in the roadmap. However, the implementation of these recommendations will ensure an abundant and healthful food supply, protect our natural resources, and create healthy, resilient communities.”

DPR Press Release

Six Tips for Employers to Address Workplace Safety

OSHA recently announced an aggressive plan to address workplace safety in a press release on January 26. Fisher Phillips released a summary of the press releases' key points and six tips for employers to help maintain good workplace safety practices as OSHA turns up the heat on inspections and citations.

OSHA's new measures, set to be effective on March 27, aim to be “important enforcement tools to help deter employers from disregarding their responsibilities to protect workers and ensure compliance with OSHA standards and regulations.” There are two main aspects to the plan: "Instance-by-Instance Citations" and "Grouping will be Discouraged."

Below are six tips from Fisher Phillips to maintain workplace safety:

  1. Assess Your Company’s Vulnerability: An ounce of cure is worth a pound of prevention.
  2. Review Your Company's OSHA Recordkeeping: One of the most cited safety issues is poor record keeping. Making sure this process is in order can save you a lot of headaches.
  3. Perform “Routine” Audits: Taking the time to give your company a check-up can help identify issues before any workers get hurt or OSHA shows up. But be prepared to correct any issues identified during the audits.
  4. Focus on Training: OSHA has various regulations that require annual training. Failure to provide consistent training exposes not only the individual but the entire workplace to danger. Regular employee safety training is essential to maintaining a safe workplace.
  5. Review Your Records for Correcting Past Violations: One of OSHA’s favorite ways to ding employers with heavy citations is by issuing repeat citations. Once you have been cited, it’s a best practice to abate the citation and continue to monitor the issue to ensure it remains abated
  6. Proper Documentation: Keep proper documentation of all training, violations, and safety-related disciplinary action. When trying to defend yourself against a citation, a good rule of thumb is that if it’s not documented, then it didn’t happen.

Fisher Phillips is hosting a webinar on February 28 to discuss OSHA's new measures.

USDA Announces $7.5 Million in Grant Funding

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making available up to $7.5 million for grants through its Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (OUAIP). The grants will support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects through two categories, Planning Projects, and Implementation Projects.

USDA will accept applications on Grants.gov until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on March 27, 2023.

For More Information

SAVE THE DATE - CAWG Foundation Golf Tournament

May 16 - Chardonnay Golf Club, Napa Valley

Join the CAWG Foundation for our 4th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament. The scholarship program is specifically for high school seniors whose parent/guardian(s) are employed by a CA winegrape grower. 

Register today!

Immigration and Farm Labor Conference

The 2023 Immigration and Farm Labor Conference will be held on March 17, 2023, at the UC Davis Law School.

The conference will feature an opening session devoted to the outlook for immigration and farm labor; the latest data on farm workers and the H-2A program; and an exploration of how technology, trade, and other factors are affecting employment and workers in particular commodities.


There is no charge to participate, but seating is limited. To attend, you must RSVP by March 3, 2023

Registration Information

UC Davis Viticulture & Enology Off Campus Programs

The UC Davis Viticulture & Enology Extension and Industry Relations Program is going "On The Road" in Tulare, Mendocino, and San Joaquin Counties. During these education seminars, UC Davis will present research currently being done and discuss issues that are important to the winegrape and wine industry.


  • February 9, 2023, 9 AM, Tulare County Cooperative Extension Office
  • February 28, 2023, 9 AM, University of California Research & Extension Center, Hopland
  • March 9, 2023, 9 AM, Lodi Grape Festival Grounds

Registration Information

FELS AB 2183 Card Check Trainings

Farm Employee Labor Service (FELS) is hosting FREE AB 2183 Card Check in-person trainings. Learn more about the opportunities below.

How to Prepare for Card Check

This in-person seminar by Barsamian and Moody, Attorneys at Law, will walk through the statutory changes to the Agricultural Labor Relations Act, including what is card check, labor peace elections, the administrative penalties, and appeal bond requirements in the new law. The seminar is intended for owner-operators, managers, human resources personnel, and farm labor contractors (FLCs). FLC representatives are encouraged to attend. 



  • February 6, 2023, 1 PM, San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation
  • March 3, 2023, 10 AM, Sonoma County Farm Bureau

Register Here

2023 Family Business Survey

Family Enterprise USA is a national organization that advocates on behalf of American multi-generational businesses. They are conducting their annual survey to gather data to show legislators in DC that family businesses are vital to America and our communities!

Please take the 5-minute survey and thank you for being supportive of our work!

Thank you, the Family Enterprise USA team




9 - Webinar: Relief for Financial Losses from Natural Disasters and Pandemic


14 - 2023 CAWG Advocacy Day

14 - CAWG Foundation Reception


16 - CAWG Foundation Scholarship Golf Tournament



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