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CAWG Issues news releases on disaster aid and smoke exposure research


CAWG Statement on Passing of $19.1 Billion Disaster

Assistance Bill by House of Representatives


SACRAMENTO, June 4, 2019 – California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) President John Aguirre has issued the following statement:


“In November 2018, in the wake of wildfires that devastated a number of California communities and prevented many growers from selling their 2018 winegrape crop, the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) and other California grower organizations asked Congress to assist in the recovery of adversely affected winegrape growers.


“The House of Representatives on June 3 passed a disaster assistance bill that offers up to $19.1 billion to aid the recovery of communities, businesses and farmers across the country affected by hurricanes, flooding and wildfires. The bill, passed on a bipartisan 354 to 58 vote, includes $3.005 billion to fund payments for growers affected by a variety of natural disasters that occurred last year and more recently in 2019.


“With the bill’s passage and the expected signature of the president, California growers who experienced wildfire-related losses in 2018, including losses related to smoke exposure, will be able to apply for assistance payments from the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program (WHIP), which is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency.


“CAWG commends those members of the California congressional delegation who voted for the disaster assistance bill, particularly Rep. Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena), who worked hard to ensure WHIP would be available to assist California growers affected by smoke exposure-related losses.


“CAWG also wishes to recognize and thank the following organizations that signed onto letters to Congress last November seeking assistance for growers affected by wildfires: Lake County Farm Bureau, Lake County Winegrape Commission, Mendocino County Farm Bureau and Mendocino Winegrowers, Inc.”


Additional information:


Press release from House Appropriations Committee (June 4)


Summary of bill



CAWG Applauds Federal Funding for Smoke Exposure Research


SACRAMENTO, June 4, 2019 – The House Appropriations Committee on June 4 approved a bill that includes $1.5 million in research funding to address issues related to smoke exposed winegrapes. The committee approved the fiscal year 2020 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies bill on a 29 to 21 vote.


“We appreciate the committee’s decision to fund smoke exposure research and I want to commend, in particular, the leadership of California Reps. Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena) and Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) to obtain these funds,” said California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) President John Aguirre.


CAWG and other industry organizations from California, Oregon and Washington originally requested $5 million for smoke exposure research. These groups will continue to push for the full $5 million as the U.S. Senate works on its bill to fund the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration and related agencies.


Additional information:


House Appropriations Committee approves funding bill (June 4)


House Appropriations Committee releases funding bill (May 22)