By all accounts, the 24th Annual Grower Workshop was a huge success.  After a two-year hiatus due to concerns and restrictions with COVID, the Department of Agriculture/Weights & Measures (AWM) decided it was time to host an in person workshop once again.   Our biggest concern was if growers would want to participate again?  We weren’t sure the famous movie quote “if we build it, they will come” would apply, but thankfully it did. 

Almost 200 growers, license and certificate holders, and employees attended the workshop.  Presentations were given on the Department of Pesticide Regulation’s (DPR) New Licensing, Certification, and Training Requirements; Fieldworker Safety Inspection Overview; Vineyard and Orchard Site Development (VESCO) Program Update; New Invasive Pests; and an update on Sonoma County’s proposed Pest Control District.  Two hours total of DPR approved continuing education credits were offered to attendees.

A big thank you goes to our presenters: Cindy Kron, Integrated Pest Management Advisor with Sonoma County UCCE; Jason Sailing with the Sonoma County Winegrape Pest and Disease District; and AWM staff Travis Howard, Deputy Agricultural Commissioner, Alex Nguyen, Senior Agricultural/Weights & Measures Inspector, and John Bishop, Engineering Technician.  Presentations were well received and triggered some ideas for future presentations.

We also want to acknowledge the Sonoma County Winegrowers for providing the refreshments, the Sonoma County UCCE for their educational booth and offering the new Private Applicator Certificate study guide for sale, the Sonoma County Winegrape Pest and Disease Control District for their booth, the Sonoma County Vit Tech Group for their support, and the great folks at the WinExpo for providing our attendees with free admittance to their conference and tradeshow later that day at the fairgrounds.  Lastly, we would like to thank our AWM staff who worked behind the scenes to make this workshop a success.  

Plans are already underway for next year’s Grower’s Workshop.  Mark your calendars for the 25th Annual Grower Workshop scheduled for December 7, 2023.  We hope to see you there!