Group Formed To Battle Pierce’s Disease

Leading winegrape growers and vintners around the Golden State have joined forces to advocate to fellow growers and wineries in support of the upcoming Pierce’s Disease/Glassy-winged Sharpshooter (PD/GWSS) Referendum.

The 15 members of the steering committee will direct the Yes Campaign being led by the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG), Family Winemakers of California and the Wine Institute. The steering committee aims to convince growers to again vote “yes” for the PD/GWSS Referendum to continue the industry’s self-assessment to fund research working toward a permanent solution to the deadly Pierce’s disease virus.

“Having effectively contained the spread of PD/GWSS for over a decade, the control program is recognized as one of agriculture’s most remarkable successes. It’s a unique partnership between growers, vintners and government that delivers solid, rapid results while protecting vineyards throughout the state,” said Kim Ledbetter Bronson, CAWG chair and steering committee member. “Voting “yes” on the PD/GWSS Referendum is the best vineyard insurance you can have against a rapid and devastating spread of Pierce’s disease.”

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) will send out PD/GWSS Referendum ballots in late March to some 6,500 winegrape-growing entities in the state. At least 40% of eligible growers must cast ballots to validate the PD/GWSS Referendum. Passage requires either: a “yes” vote by 65% of those voting who represent the majority of the assessment that was paid in 2009; or a “yes” vote by a majority of those voting who represent 65% or more of the assessment that was paid in 2009.

For additional information on the PD/GWSS Referendum, as well as to see the list of members of the steering committee, check out: www.protectyourvineyard.com.

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