Photos by Chrome Visual Co.
Photos by Chrome Visual Co.
NAPA, CA (February 5, 2024) – The Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation (FWF) celebrated its 22nd Annual Napa County Pruning Contest at Beringer’s Gamble Ranch Vineyard on Saturday, February 3. It was a perfect day as 113 contestants displayed exceptional skill and determination in what is considered the most prestigious competition for Napa Valley’s vineyard professionals. Scoring for the competition is weighted for technique and quality, allowing contestants to demonstrate their dedication to high-quality, Napa Valley grape-growing.
During the main event, each of the contestants pruned five vines in the day’s preliminary competition. Those with the highest scores went on to the final round, which produced the winners: 4 in the women’s division and 4 in the men’s division. The winners took home a generous collection of gifts, which included cash, pruning tools, Napa Valley wine, gift cards from Silicon Valley Bank and Sunbelt Rentals; and a handmade silver belt buckle from Max Lang Belt and Buckles and a FELCO champions jacket was given to the 1st place winners. Employers typically match the cash prize winnings, so the day was highly rewarding for the top 8 finalists.
An outstanding display of talent this year was Ana Mejia from Trefethen Family Vineyards. In 2023 she competed in the women’s division and took third place. However, she returned this year determined to advance. “I came [to the 2024 competition] with more confidence and purpose,” said Mejia, “I wanted to demonstrate that women are also able to compete.” Mejia proudly took first place in this year’s competition, taking to the podium with a smile from ear-to-ear.
Adding to this year’s energy was local radio DJ Gabriela Fernandez of MegaMix, who broadcast live from the event grounds. She interviewed Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation leadership, finalists, and long-time sponsors, like Antonio Zamora from A&J Vineyard Supply, who said, “As a business that provides the Napa Valley with high-quality vineyard supplies, we see the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation as an asset to the grape-growing community, and one that aligns with our values. Adding, too, that sponsoring their Napa County Pruning Contest is a great opportunity to connect with those we support – from farmworkers to grape growers. If it wasn’t for the dedicated, expert talent tending to the local vineyards, the Napa Valley wouldn’t be what it is today.”
Competitors are Napa County farmworkers and full-time employees. All farmworkers who work in Napa County are eligible to compete.
1st Place: $1,550 in cash and gifts cards, a custom belt buckle, FELCO champions jacket, Vineyard Industry Products tools and supplies, Central Valley tools and supplies, and wine from Bazán Cellars
2nd Place: $1,075 in cash and gifts cards, Central Valley tools and supplies, and wine from Bazán Cellars
3rd Place: $800 in cash and gifts cards, Central Valley tools and supplies, and wine from Larkmead Vineyards
4th Place: $550 in cash and gifts cards, Central Valley tools and supplies, and wine from Bazán Cellars
All contestants received a black leather pruning shear holster from FELCO.
Women’s Division Winners:
1st Place: Ana Mejía, Trefethen Family Vineyards
2nd Place: Rubi Reyes Hernández, Gonzalez Vineyard Management
3rd Place: Guadalupe Gutiérrez, Renteria Vineyard Management
4th Place: Cristina Arroyo, Renteria Vineyard Management
Men’s Division Winners:
1st Place: Guadalupe Soriano, Atlas Vineyard Management
2nd Place: Benjamin Marron, Bettinelli Vineyards
3rd Place: Julio Alonso, Hardin Vineyard Management
4th Place: Jesús Sánchez, Renteria Vineyard Management
Support for this event was provided by sponsors Nemerever Vineyards, Silicon Valley Bank, Central Valley Ag Supplies, FELCO, Duarte Trees & Vines, Sunbelt Rentals, Ag Health Benefits Alliance, Copper Cane Wines & Provisions, Jaguar Farm Labor Contracting, Brotemarkle Davis & Co, Malloy Imrie & Vasconi Insurance Services, Pearls Farm Labor, Renteria Vineyard Management, Sunridge Nurseries, Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, Jim’s Supply Co., Garton Tractor, Taddei Vineyards, Gonzalez Vineyard Management, Vineyard Industry Products, A&J Vineyard Supply, Green Valley Tractor, and our partner in health, OLE Health.
Thank you to the Napa Valley community members who served on the Napa County Pruning Contest Committee: Gustavo Aviña, Brianna Beighle, Pam Bond, Garrett Buckland, Chad Clark, Roberto Juarez, Joe Nasharr, Hayden Schmidter, Kendall Smith, Anulfo Solorio, Macy Stubstad and to all the wine industry volunteers who came out to support the event.
Photos from the 22nd annual Napa County Pruning Contest are available upon request. All photos were taken by Chrome Visual Co.
For press inquiries regarding the annual Napa County Pruning Contest, please email Caroline Feuchuk, NVG Marketing Director, at email@example.com.
Photos by Chrome Visual Company
Thank you to our grower community who made it possible for 260 farmworkers to attend Cultivar last week. It was three days filled with learning, sharing, and growing. Special thanks to our excellent speakers and vineyard table topic discussion hosts.
"I think 90% of us learned more in the personal development presentations today (Problem Solving Techniques and Making a Persuasive Presentation) than we have learned in the last five years." - supervisor comment
You can view the audio recordings and PPT for all presentations on the Farmworker Foundation YouTube Channel.
Save the date!
Cultivar 2024: November 13-15
Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation, Providence Community Health Foundation Napa Valley Distribute 100 iPads to Seniors in the Farmworking Community
Rocio Escobedo, Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation program coordinator, introduces a retired farmworker to his brand-new iPad.
Photo by Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation staff
Napa, CA (November 1, 2023) – The Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation (FWF), in partnership with Providence Community Health Foundation Napa Valley (PCHFNV), distributed 100 complimentary iPads to seniors in the farmworking community.
The iPads were made possible through a Digital Connections grant awarded to PCHFNV by the Napa/Solano Area Agency on Aging. The funds originated from California’s Department on Aging’s Digital Inclusion initiative—focused on the use of technology to connect older adults with friends and family, health care providers, as well as expand their ability to find healthy foods, perform meaningful work, and learn new skills.
With 450 iPads to distribute across the County, the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation immediately came to mind.
“I started my career in the wine industry and married a winemaker. Through these connections I learned of the invaluable work the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation does for local farmworkers, who we also serve. For years, I’ve been looking for an opportunity for our two organizations to work together. When we received this grant, I reached out and was very excited they were on board,” said PCHFNV Director of Development Operations, Erika Tavakoli
The program opened a digital gateway for 100 individuals to connect with family and resources – a genuine, life-altering gift for many.
To receive an iPad, the program outlined the following parameters:
1. Recipients must be at least 60 years old or 18 years old and permanently disabled
• Priority was given to low-income residents
2. The recipient does not currently own a mobile, computerized device that could maintain the following:
• General digital application compatibility such as telehealth resources or Zoom
• Connectivity to WiFi or 5G broadband
3. And finally, the recipient must live in Napa County
Each iPad came with an Otter Box case for protection, access to a 24/7 helpline for setup assistance, broadband service through December 31, information to extend and purchase low-cost broadband, and information to get further iPad support through the Napa County Library.
Recipients were deeply moved by receiving an iPad. With their new-found digital gateway, many recipients reconnected with loved ones on FaceTime. Anecdotes from the program include:
• A woman with dementia that lives in a facility. Her daughters walked her through video calling so she could feel more closely connected to them
• A man who has been disabled since a kidney transplant. He couldn’t afford a smartphone, and technology is challenging, but he is now committed to learning how to make video calls
• An 80-year-old whose sight is going, so the big iPad screen helps him watch his beloved prayer videos and talk to his kids
• A retiree who recently got out of the hospital and was feeling depressed; his daughter hoped the new iPad could provide him interesting things to explore
• A woman that expressed she’d never been given anything and showed sincere gratitude
“Recipients lit up at the sight of their new iPad. It was a moving experience around the room, too, as even their family members shined bright,” said Rocío Escobedo, Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation program coordinator, “The iPad meant a reliable, direct connection to their loved ones.”
For press inquiries regarding the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation, and the iPad distribution program, please contact Caroline Feuchuk, marketing director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation
Founded by the Napa Valley Grapegrowers in 2011, the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation supports and promotes Napa Valley’s vineyard workers through education and professional development. It is the first organization of its kind in the U.S., providing educational opportunities, advanced training programs, leadership and management classes, English literacy programs, and more. To date, the Farmworker Foundation has offered education and professional development opportunities to more than 23,000 vineyard workers and their families. For more information, visit Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
About Providence Community Health Foundation Napa Valley (formerly Collabria Care)
The Providence Community Health Foundation Napa Valley was formed to serve the philanthropic needs of Providence Community Health Napa Valley’s programs -- Adult Day Health, Palliative Care, Hospice, and PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly). Its mission is to ensure that Providence Community Health Napa Valley has sufficient resources to provide whole person, compassionate care for individuals and their families who are experiencing serious illness, the transitions of aging, and end of life. Thus, ensuring no one is ever denied services based on their inability to afford care and that programming to improve the health and wellbeing of our community is available.
About Napa/Solano Area Agency on Aging
The current Napa/Solano Area Agency on Aging was established in August 2018, through a collaboration between Napa and Solano counties, under the guidance of the California Department of Aging. The agency exists to advocate for and enhance the quality of life, health, independence, and dignity of older adults in Napa and Solano counties. Additionally, they provide leadership in addressing issues that relate to older adults, developing community-based systems of care that provide services which support independence, and promoting citizen involvement in the planning and delivery of services.
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, email@example.com
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.