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March 2024 Grape Post Newsletter

In this issue...

Feature: Highlights from the 2024 Legislative Session

State Advocacy
Progress in Deer and Elk Crop Damage Mitigation
Navigating the Climate Commitment Act
Legislative Changes to Ag Overtime
DUI Threshold Remains Unchanged
Autonomous Vehicles in Agriculture
New Smoke and Heat Exposure Labor Rules in Effect
Insights on TTB's Nutritional Labeling Discussions

Federal Advocacy
Farm Bill Update
Federal Appropriations Update

WineVit® 2024 Recap
Leadership Luncheon Award Recipients
Resources for WA Winegrape Export Into BC, Canada

Sustainable WA
2023 Season Wrap Up

LAEP Graduation
Winery Cellar Leadership Program
Upcoming Events

Advancing Washington's Wine Industry - Highlights from the 2024 Legislative State Session

Discover the remarkable strides made by the Washington Winegrowers Association in the 2024 legislative session. From safeguarding harvests against wildlife intrusion to pioneering sustainability measures, this article invites readers to explore the association's role in shaping a vibrant and resilient future for Washington's wine community.

A Win For Wine: Celebrating Progress in Deer and Elk Crop Damage Mitigation

Uncover the significant legislative strides made by Washington Winegrowers Association in addressing crop damage challenges, fostering a resilient agricultural landscape for future generations.

Navigating the Climate Commitment Act: Implications for Washington Winegrowers

Explore the challenges and opportunities presented by the Climate Commitment Act (CCA) as Washington's wine industry adapts to evolving environmental policies and legislative landscapes. Learn how the Washington Winegrowers Association is advocating for equitable treatment and sustainable solutions amidst discussions surrounding the CCA's impact on agriculture.

Ag Overtime: Navigating Legislative Changes for Washington Winegrowers

Dive into the evolving legislative landscape impacting Washington's wine industry as agricultural overtime laws take center stage. Uncover the challenges faced by growers and vineyard workers alike, and explore potential solutions to strike a balance between operational efficiency and worker well-being in this critical arena.

DUI Threshold Remains Unchanged

The proposed reduction of the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for driving failed to pass the Washington State Senate floor in the 2024 legislative session. Washington Winegrowers Association celebrates this victory, affirming its commitment to advocating for policies that balance public safety and industry interests.

Autonomous Vehicles in Agriculture

Gain valuable insights into how Washington State regulations address the utilization of autonomous vehicles in vineyards and their potential implications for wineries. Explore legislative proposals, navigational challenges, and comparative analyses with California's standards, shedding light on the evolving landscape of autonomous technology in Washington's wine industry.

New Smoke and Heat Exposure Labor Rules in Effect

With warm summer weather coming our way, it is the perfect time to learn more about new rules in effect here in Washington State to safeguard outdoor workers, including vineyard employees, from the hazards of wildfire smoke exposure.

Navigating the Federal Regulatory Landscape: Insights on TTB's Nutritional Labeling Discussions

Delve into the recent discussions led by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) on nutritional, ingredient, and allergen labeling for alcoholic beverages. With concerns ranging from financial impact on small producers to the feasibility of detailed labeling, understanding these implications is crucial for Washington's winegrowers and wineries.

Farm Bill Update

Following the conclusion of the 2024 Appropriations process, Congress is gearing up to tackle the pivotal 2024 Farm Bill post-Easter recess. With numerous proposed "marker bills" on the table, anticipation brews as Congress reconvenes on April 8 to shape the future of agricultural and food programs in the United States.

Federal Appropriations Update

As Congress concludes its fiscal year 2024 appropriation bills, Winegrowers celebrates key victories, including increased funding for wildfire smoke research and relief from FDA regulations. Advocacy efforts persist into the next year as stakeholders seek continued support and regulatory leniency in the 2025 Agriculture Appropriations bill, underscoring ongoing industry priorities.

WineVit® 2024 Wrap-Up

It was incredible to connect with so many amazing members and industry partners at the WineVit® 2024 Convention & Trade Show! Read about some of the highlights and celebrate the accomplishments of stellar researchers.

Leadership Luncheon Awards

One incredible opportunity to celebrate the Washington wine industry at the WineVit® Convention & Trade Show was the Leadership & Legacy Luncheon, where industry legends were recognized for their contributions. Learn more about their accomplishments!

Washington Winegrape Export Into British Columbia, Canada

In recognition of the recent prolonged cold snap and winter damage to British Columbia, Canada vineyards, the B.C. wine industry is projecting a significant reduction in winegrape production, presenting Washington winegrowers with the opportunity to export into Canada to alleviate the shortage. Check out our resources to assist Washington winegrowers in the exportation process!

Sustainable WA 2023 Season Wrap-Up

The Sustainable WA program saw another successful season of certification in 2023, for a total of 32 growers in the first two years of the program. Learn more about these growers and the Sustainable WA program!

Latino Ag Education Program Graduation

The Latino Ag Education Program for Viticulture wrapped up its 2023-24 session with graduation on March 22nd at the Walter J. Clore Wine Center in Prosser. Learn more about the program and celebrate the Level 2 and Level 3 graduates!

Winery Cellar Leadership Program - Register Today for Level II!

The Winery Cellar Leadership Program kicks off in just over a week! Make sure you take advantage of this incredible opportunity for cellar leads to improve all aspects of applicable cellar skills by registering today, and read more about the program.

Upcoming Events

Winery Cellar Leadership Program Level II
Yakima Valley College, Grandview Campus
Every Tuesday, April 9 - May 28

Rolling with the Punches: Making Wine with the Fruit We Have
Yakima Valley College, Grandview Campus
Thursday, May 16

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