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
Attendees connected with community groups and enjoyed cultural dance performances at the 11th annual Día de la Familia.
Photos by Suzanne Becker Bronk.
The Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation’s Día de la Familia: A Street Festival with Heart
NAPA, CA (August 2, 2023) – On July 16, Día de la Familia, the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation’s (FWF) annual street festival, was hosted in downtown Napa. The FWF’s mission is to support and promote Napa Valley’s vineyard workers through education and professional development, and Día de la Familia supports this by connecting farmworker families with the incredible array of free, Napa County-based resources that can greatly improve the quality of life, or even be life-changing, for many. This year’s event hosted over 50 community organizations, free health screenings, family activities, cultural dance performances, and a taco lunch.
Francisco Araujo, Director of Quality Control and Technical Winegrowing Operations for Atlas Vineyard Management, towed in a tractor for display during Día de la Familia.
Photo by Suzanne Becker Bronk
One of the day’s highlights was a full-sized tractor display by Atlas Vineyard Management, this year’s event sponsor. The tractor was a visual spectacle, a photo opportunity for families, and a “wow” moment for children. Francisco Araujo, Director of Quality Control and Technical Winegrowing Operations for Atlas Vineyard Management said, “We hope the tractor sparks conversation between parents and children about their work in the vineyard - what are their duties in the vineyard? What does a tractor do? Farmworkers are critical to agriculture, and we hope to educate the younger generation about their important work.” Araujo has been a long-time supporter of the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation and participates on the FWF Education Committee. He went on to say, “Día de la Familia is the best event of the year, and an excellent way to catch-up with employees and their families ahead of harvest.”
Students from the Patrick Foley Fields of Opportunity Summer Mentor Program made event setup easier this year. The 8-week Program helps students gain valuable career skills and insights into the opportunities available through the Napa Valley wine industry. At Día de la Familia, their responsibilities were hanging signs, setting up booths, helping community members, and more. “Rather than a summer of leisure, students are learning how to advance in their careers and are seeing new opportunities in the local industry,” said Leidy Tovar, Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation workforce development coordinator, “The Fields of Opportunity Summer Mentor Program has helped these students grow and mature, and I’m excited to see them apply their newly gained skills at Día de la Familia.”
Students from the Patrick Foley Fields of Opportunity Summer Mentor Program helped at Día de la Familia. The 8-week Program introduces high school students to opportunities available through the Napa Valley wine industry and valuable career skills.
Photo by Suzanne Becker Bronk
Participating community organizations connected attendees with many free resources and support. The festival also included mariachi, ballet folklórico, traditional Aztec dance, children’s activities, opportunities to learn about the important work done in the vineyard, and of course, great food.
OLE Health returned this year, as well, with its providers and staff offering complimentary health screenings, dental education, and enrollment assistance to 60 community members. The screenings included blood pressure and BMI assessment, and individuals were connected to follow-up appointments with an OLE Health provider at one of its health centers. Their service is another fitting example of the many resources accessible during Día de la Familia.
Community organizations that participated in the 11th Annual Día de la Familia included:
Alzheimer Disease Research Center
California Highway Patrol
California Human Development
Catholic Charities of Santa Rosa
Community Health Initiative
Connolly Ranch Education Center
Cope Family Center
County of Napa - Housing & Homeless Services
County of Napa Health & Human Services, Alcohol & Drug Services
Friends of Napa County Animal Shelter
Girls on the Run North Bay
Innovations Community Center/Napa County Recovery Center
Napa County - Self Sufficiency Services
Napa County HHSA, CSOA
Napa County HHSA, Mental Health Division
Napa County Hispanic Network
Napa County Library
Napa County Office of Education
Napa County Public Health
Napa Resource Conservation District
Napa Valley College - Student Affairs
Napa Valley Community Housing
Napa Valley Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD)
Napa Valley Education Foundation
Napa Valley Unified School District - Migrant Ed
North Bay Regional Center
Providence Adult Day Health Napa Valley
Providence Queen of the Valley Medical Center Community Outreach
Puertas Abiertas Community Resource Center
Redwood Credit Union
Share the Care Napa Valley
Soluna Outreach Solutions on behalf of Napa County Oil, Napa Sanitation, Napa Storm Water Pollution Prevention.
The Neighborhood Initiative - OTM
The Roots Fund
UC Davis Dept of Viticulture & Enology
UC Napa County Master Gardeners
UpValley Family Centers
VOICES Napa Youth Center
Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety
Many thanks to the following partners who helped bring this year’s festival to life: Atlas Vineyard Management, Bright Event Rentals, H&E Equipment Supply, The Lux Productions, OLE Health, Puertas Aberitas, Silverado Farming Company, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Walsh Vineyards Management, Green Mary, Suzanne Becker Bronk Photography, El Muchacho Alegre, and KVON Mega Mix.
For press inquiries related to Día de la Familia, please email Caroline Feuchuk, firstname.lastname@example.org
Press Release, Napa Valley Community Foundation
The Robert Alexander Scott Scholarship Fund at Napa Valley Community Foundation (NVCF) today announced inaugural awards totaling $50,000 to support six promising students pursuing careers in winemaking, vineyard management, and enology this Fall.
The scholarship fund was established in memory of Robert Alexander (Alex) Scott. Alex was a passionate family man and a key contributor to the growth of Scott Laboratories, a leading provider to the North American wine industry. Alex's memory and legacy are now perpetuated by helping individuals gain the education and skills necessary for advancing beyond entry-level positions in viticulture and enology.
In its first year, the scholarship fund has enabled six recipients to enroll in Winemaking, Viticulture, and Enology A.S. degree programs at Napa Valley College, Santa Rosa Junior College, and Walla Walla Community College.
One of the recipients, Clair Stover, studying Enology at Santa Rosa Junior College, expressed gratitude and anticipation for her studies: “I truly love the delicate balance between science, art, and agriculture that winemaking embodies—the physical and mental challenges as well as the opportunity for creativity.”
After many years working in the wine industry, Ms. Stover realized that her on-the-job learning could only take her so far in her career. “Completing an enology degree will qualify me for higher positions in the field,” she added.
Another recipient, Juana B. Cruz, who first joined the wine industry in 2019, is excited to continue growing in her career. “There are not a lot of women in viticulture, and I have looked up to four wonderful women that I’ve had the pleasure of learning from in my current role.”
While she attends classes at the SRJC, Juana is actively planning for the future. “I have a five-year plan—I hope to be a vineyard manager with my Associate’s Degree in viticulture. I hope I can take part in inspiring the younger generation of women to join viticulture in the future, too.”
Bruce Scott, the founder of Scott Laboratories, fondly remembers his son's commitment to fostering career growth. “Alex always believed in nurturing talent and providing opportunities for growth. These scholarships not only honor his memory, but they embody his belief in empowering the next generation of viticulturists and winemakers."
Napa Valley Community Foundation, a powerful engine for good in Napa Valley, partners with local donors to establish scholarship funds supporting students across diverse educational fields, including viticulture, nursing, computer science, education, and technical and trade schools. Annually, NVCF's scholarship funds provide over $500,000 in financial support to more than 60 students.
Celebrating Latin American Culture at the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation's 11th annual Día de la Familia
In Saint Helena, CA, on April 19th, 2023, Arnulfo Solorio represented the Farmworker Foundation at Napa Rise. The focus of the day was social justice, diversity, and inclusion day. Changemakers gathered to learn how to make their spaces more inclusive. Solorio- shared his dream of providing education opportunities for farmworkers that today has grown into the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation; providing numerous trainings and educational opportunities for farmworkers and their families. The programs have expanded to create opportunities not only for current farmworkers but for students who are considering the wine industry. Solorio called people in the room to action, encouraging them to send their employees to the training and to become mentors for the Fields of Opportunity Summer Program.