From left, Brittany Pederson of Renteria Vineyard Management, Sonya DeLuca, interim executive director of the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation and Napa Valley Grapegrowers, and Arnulfo Solorio of Silverado Farming Company and Vice President of the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation. Photo by Suzanne Becker Bronk
Napa, CA (September 22, 2023) – The Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation (FWF) is pleased to share the impact of their work funded by the CDFA California Underserved Small Producers (CUSP) Grant. The grant program provided funds for direct assistance for individual small and mid-scale and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers who needed support applying for economic relief and assistance with business planning and marketing strategies. This grant award highlights FWF’s growing impact within the Napa Valley farming community.
Utilizing these funds, FWF acted at a time of need, in the wake of economic hardship following the COVID-19 pandemic and the wildfires of 2020. The Foundation partnered with the Napa Valley Grapegrowers (NVG) to increase reach to grape growers in the area. Together, they organized educational sessions on financial relief opportunities for producers and engaged grant writing partner, Morrison and Co., to provide timely technical assistance to help impacted farming operations access critical relief programs.
Forty-three winegrape producers benefited from this one-on-one direct assistance and received nearly $415,000 in state and federal economic relief funds from the following programs: the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program, the USDA Farm Service Agency’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2, and the USDA Farm Service Agency’s Emergency Relief Program (ERP)– Phase 1 supporting growers who faced losses due to wildfire. An additional 19 winegrape producers met with Morrison and were given 1:1 guidance for Phase 2 of the ERP program.
“The Napa Valley wine industry was greatly impacted by the pandemic and 2020 wildfires, the events were like a one-two punch to the local farm-working community,” said Sonya DeLuca, interim executive director for the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation, “We became deeply committed to connecting small and underserved producers with financial support opportunities and were honored to be selected by the CDFA for this grant.”
Among the growers granted funding for economic relief were Spanish-speaking, small winegrape producers who had experienced severe financial losses in 2020 due to a combination of wildfire-related damage and COVID-19 market disruptions. They were able to speak with one of Morrison’s bilingual staff about their inability to navigate the funding opportunities available and struggled with limited time, linguistic barriers, and unfamiliarity with the highly technical application process. With Morrison’s assistance and the support of FWF, these growers received much needed relief funding that saved their businesses. Without FWF’s strong reputation among Napa producers, and Morrison’s tenacious approach in working through challenges as they arose, many growers would not have known that they were eligible for these programs, let alone been able to successfully access this vital financial aid.
Harvest night work presents a unique set of hazards that can be avoided by proper planning, training, monitoring and hazard correction.
What are the requirements of the standards?
- Lighting - 3444(a)
Different work operations have different lighting requirements. These lighting levels are listed in Cal/Osha Nighttime Outdoor Agricultural Operations Fact Sheet below. Employers can meet the lighting requirements in a variety of ways, such as vehicle-mounted lights, portable lights, head lamps, or any combination.
- Safety Meetings - 3449(b)
Supervisors must conduct a safety meeting at the beginning of each shift to inform workers of the location of the restrooms, drinking water, break areas, nearby bodies of water, and high traffic areas.
- Class 2 High - Visibility Garments - 3449(c)
The employer must provide and require workers to wear Class 2 high-visibility garments. These garments help vehicle operators see workers at night.
- Headlights and Tailights - 3441(g)
All tractors, self-propelled farm equipment, and trucks operating at night must have at least one headlight and one rear light.
Source: Cal/Osha Nighttime Outdoor Agricultural Operations Fact Sheet