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219 Viticulture Advisor - Kern County


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This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2012 cycle.



This viticulture position is important in Kern County and this discipline area is not being covered by other specialized Advisors headquartered in the Kern County office.
Posted May 16, 2012 5:21 PM by Joseph Connell
Kern County is the heart of the US table grape industry. There are many research opportunities for this position and the industry historically has supported research and extension work.
Posted May 30, 2012 10:54 AM by Maxwell Norton
I would like to see this position filled in Kern County. ANR needs a table grape viticulturalist in the largest table grape growing county in the state. We also have widespread industry support for such a position and for ANR by fresh market grape farmers. These farmers have supported us and we need to continue the excellent relationship that has been established by previous advisors. Table grapes are a key export industry helping California and the nation.
Posted Jun 4, 2012 2:22 PM by Walter Bentley
Our company is very much in support of the re-establishment of a Viticultural Advisor for the Kern County area. As a member of a third generation table grape growing family business, I fully appreciate the value of having a dedicated specialist working and conducting research for the betterment of our entire industry. This commitment will help ensure that Kern County remains on the cutting edge of table grape production worldwide, and will continue to provide benefits to the industry, its employees, and the community as a whole.
Posted Jul 18, 2012 2:42 PM by Chris Caratan
At this time there are no farm advisors in Kern or Tulare counties, the two major table grape producing areas ion California. There are several on-going rootstock projects in the Kern/Tulare counties (some plots are 23 years old). They provide valuable information on phylloxera and nematode control thus reducing or eliminating the use of pesticides, At the present time Dr. Fidelibus has stepped up to provide leadership for several of the projects but others will not be evaluated due to time, and travel constraints. Research is needed in cultural practices such as new varieties, water management in conjunction with rootstocks, growth regulators, pest and disease control including continuation of a glassy winged sharpshooter project that has provided invaluable data on rate of spread of Pierces disease when high populations of GWSS are present. The imbalance of research in table grapes when compared to the wine industry is huge. I am in support of both positions since it is an opportunity for two advisors for one where the University funds one and the table grape industry funds the other. I have heard concern that no one would take a six year term position when funding might not be continued. If funding was not available at the end of the six year term and the advisors are successful, they would walk right into an industry job since this would then be a one of a kind training opportunity. Please give these two positions high priority for filling in this cycle.
Posted Jul 18, 2012 5:45 PM by Don Luvisi, farm advisor emeritus, Kern County
I write on behalf of Sun World International, a Kern County-based farming enterprise with agricultural interests throughout California. Table grape production contributes vitally to the state's agricultural industry and to the county's economic health. We support the need for a viticulture farm advisor in Kern County, believe it would benefit our Company and the productivity and success of the region's grape growers and we ask that the University strongly consider the strategic partnership proposal and funding offer recently put forth by the California Table Grape Commission.
Posted Jul 18, 2012 6:49 PM by David Marguleas
Kern and Tulare are the highest volume table grape producing counties in the state and represent over 80 percent of the state’s total production and consequently of its $1.4 billion value. Currently, neither Kern nor Tulare County has a farm advisor.

Growing and shipping table grapes is a complex, scientific and technical endeavor which requires a constant search for new and improved cultivars, production practices, and shipping protocols. Research designed to solve industry problems and maximize opportunities needs to be a part of the everyday work in which the industry engages with the University. There is no better or more proven way for that work to take place than through county-based farm advisors.

Understanding that the economic landscape is different today than it was in past decades, the California Table Grape Commission has offered to fund one full-time six-year term position in Kern County if the University will fund one in Tulare/Kings County (or vice versa) and if both are designated as priority positions for the round of funding immediately following the end of the six-year term. Alternatively, the commission will fund one-half of a Kern County position and one-half of a Tulare/Kings County position if the University funds the other two-halves, with both positions designed as priorities.

Table grapes are, for the most part, grown on small multi-generational family-based farms located in rural communities that are among the hardest hit in the country by the economic downturn, suffering from some of the nation’s highest unemployment. Agriculture is a significant employer in these communities and table grapes are a major crop.

Farm advisors helped build the table grape industry. They are needed to sustain the industry – and the rural communities it supports – into the future.

Posted Jul 20, 2012 2:53 PM by Kathleen Nave
This is a key table grape region in California, and a primary focal point for the world's research on table grape production. A farm adviser in this region is critical to the ongoing research from UC, USDA, and private parties on a variety of programs, from table grape breeding, irrigation and fertilization management, rootstock trials for nematodes and pathogens, to insect pest management programs.

Moreover, this position is critical to keep California's table grape industry at its world leading position in production and research. Current pressures on the international and domestic sales as foreign markets come ever closer and overlap with California harvest schedules requires ongoing applied research and industry response to maintain the current competitive edge in the high quality table grape market.

For these reasons, this position should rank highly in the 2012 discussion. The selected candidate will have an almost guaranteed success in terms of extension, grower involvement and interest, and support for research participation with campus-based and Kearney-based faculty.

Kent Daane, UC Research Advisory Committee, California Table Grape Commission
Posted Aug 1, 2012 9:11 AM by Kent Daane
The California Grape and Tree Fruit League, a voluntary public policy association that represents through its members approximately 85% of the volume of fresh table grapes and deciduous tree fruit in the state, enthusiastically supports the proposal made by the California Table Grape Commission (CTGC) related to much needed addition of table grape farm advisors for Kern as well as Tulare/Kings counties.
Our organization not only recognizes the need and the benefits that will be provided by these advisors but also the reality of the current economic climate we find ourselves in the state. While we remained concerned that the concept of general fund support from all levels of government as it relates to agriculture continues to be more narrowly defined as resources become scarcer, we are realistic when it comes to this particular situation involving table grape farm advisors. For the reasons articulated by CTGC, we believe the proposal made by that group, particularly the shared funding mechanisms, makes sense for our members, the industry, local communities and all the citizens of the state.
Posted Aug 2, 2012 11:13 AM by Barry Bedwell
Viticulture has very deep roots in Kern County, (read The Grapes of Wrath). I represent Sunridge Nurseries, (as general manager of a large Grapevine nursery in Kern County), and am President of the Kern County Farm Bureau. Both titles put me in a position of needing great knowledge about this huge industry. I have routinely sought out the past Viticultural Farm Advisors for advise and information, and used their vast resources on a regular basis. It is a travesty that this position lies empty. The benefits of a Viticultural Farm Advisor in one of the most productive regions in the world far outweigh the cost to the taxpayer and other funding sources for this position. Please fill this position as soon as possible.
Posted Aug 3, 2012 2:14 PM by Steve Maniaci
As chairman of the Consolidated Central Valley Table Grape Pest and Disease Control District, I strongly encourage the University to hire grape farm advisors in both Kern and Tulare counties. Local specialists have and would continue to help the industry more quickly and effectively react to the challenges from invasive pests and diseases that threaten our very survival. There is a unique and synergistic relationship that exists between the industry and local extension personnel. This partnership allows for a better solution to be developed for the myriad of problems and concerns of grape growers. Benefits are accrued not only by the growers, their employees and local support industry, but by entire communities and to the state as a whole. At the very beginning and throughout the Glassy-winged Sharpshooter/Pierces Disease outbreak, our former viticulture advisors in both Kern and Tulare counties provided invaluable support not only to an extremely alarmed grower community, but for other U.C. researchers, CDFA, USDA APHIS and county Ag Commissioners, as well. Other examples of benefits provided by the proposed viticulture positions include, but are certainly not limited to the following. Improved economies of water and energy use through the refinement of irrigation management programs. Local evaluation of new rootstock and grape varieties for resistance to pests such as nematodes, Phylloxera, powdery mildew, Pierces Disease and others. The results of these efforts are the reduced use of chemicals and all that entails including grower expenses, reduced potential for human exposures and adverse environmental effects.
As outlined in other letters, the grape business is a large industry that supports a large number of families and generates a large amount of tax revenue to the state and federal governments. As one of the few bright spots in this economy, it would make good sense to foster and protect this asset which is vital to so many. I strongly encourage the University of California to fill both of the vacant grape farm advisor positions in Kern and Tulare counties.
Paul Giboney
Posted Aug 3, 2012 3:36 PM by Paul Giboney
I am writing on behalf of Grapery, a table grape producer in Kern and Tulare counties and as a partner in International Fruit Genetics, a grape breeding venture located in Kern county.
Thousands of jobs in Kern and Tulare Counties rely directly or indirectly upon the table grape industry. We are constantly faced with new pest and disease threats and by demands by foreign markets regarding these issues and other quarantine related impediments to the free flow of our products to foreign markets. In addition we are in a highly competitive worldwide market that requires producers to develop and maintain the highest levels of productivity and quality.
The Farm Advisor provides a vital role in basic research and information dissemination to not only growers but to policy bodies who deal with these issues.
Posted Aug 4, 2012 6:06 AM by Jack Pandol
I am a grape nursery grower. We as a viticultural industry have greatly benefited
from the farm advisors system. Farm advisors have helped growers with pest control
, fertilization techniques , variety selection of grapes as well as rootstocks, and a link
between the researchers and growers and shippers.
I would hate to see this lost and urge for a continuation of a viticulture advisor in
Kern County.
Posted Aug 4, 2012 1:32 PM by Dennis Frick
As a small first generation table grape grower I can attest that without the aid of the viticulture Farm Adviser I would not have survived my first several years in farming. Even though I graduated with a farm degree I had no seasoned practical knowledge that growing up on a farm would have given me, which made the farm adviser an important asset. Table grapes are probably one of the most difficult crops to grow, a combination of art & science. There are many challenges such as emerging insects and diseases that could wipe us out at any moment. We need the link that a local viticulturist would give us to current research and knowledge.
Posted Aug 6, 2012 12:20 AM by Mark Hall
My roots have been and will continue to be in Agriculture. Over the years the position of Viticulture Advisor has held great importace for the grape industry.Given the fast paced changes in our industry, regulatory changes and the need for cultural production technique research this position will continue to be a critcal position for the well being of our industry.
Posted Aug 6, 2012 7:25 AM by Garry Nelson President and General Manager Vintage Nurseries
Wilson Ag is a 3rd, 4th and 5th generation farming family that has always grown wine grapes. We have relied upon local farm advisores to help with cultural information, problem digagnosing and advice on how to farm sustainably. Since Don Luvisi retiried and Jennifer Hashim moved on, we have had no one to fill these needs. Please consider a viticultural farm advisor for Kern County. The table grape commission's proposal is win-win for all concerned.
The Gary Wilson Family
Posted Aug 6, 2012 9:59 AM by Gary Wilson, Wilson Ag
Kern County is the leading producer of Tables grapes in California 39,400 acre which is close to half of all acreage grown in the state. It would seem very appartent that a Viticulture position in Kern county is vital to the continued production of table grapes for California and the world. I support and urge for the continuation of a viticulture advisor in Kern County.
Posted Aug 6, 2012 10:03 AM by Ruben J. Arroyo - Kern County Agricultural Commissioner
I am a product representative for a fertilizer manufacturing company. A farm advisor is needed not only to face the issues such as invasive pests, but also, a farm advisor sees and hears many things about production, cultural practices, pest control, and nutrition that helps disseminate and apply this information out into the industry. A good farm advisor can help move the table grape industry in a positive direction working with companies that grow the crops as well as companies that provide the inputs, researchers and consultants, and with the legal entities. A farm advisor is a very important position for the future of Table Grapes in Kern County.
Posted Aug 6, 2012 4:12 PM by Jeff Palmbach
On behalf of Columbine Vineyards and as a current Commissioner of the UC President's Advisory Commision of ANR I feel the need to reinforce and reiterate the importance of having the Farm Advisor positions in Kern and Tulare counties. In Kern and Tulare Counties grapes are vitally important to the sustainability of the economy of the region. Research is key to maintaining a strong and viable industry. The Farm Advisor positions historically have been instrumental in keeping the this industry ahead of the research and technology curves. There has been critical research performed and data collected in the early stages of the battle against GWSS that has provided extremely valuable information for the entire state, including the wine grape industry. Our Farm Advisors took the lead on this and continue to be the critical first point of attack in the ongoing battle. The GWSS battle is but one example of the benefits of having a strong and competent Farm Advisor that places the needs of the entire industry above personal or individual interests.
Our industry must have competent personnel to provide research, guidance and information to growers and state and federal policy-makers alike. The demands placed upon us for higher quality and improved stewardship along with more keen competition for limited resources, it's imperative that we work with industry members and the ANR to fund the program. In light of the financial issues affecting the state I urge the acceptance of the proposal put forth by the Table Grape Commission to fund one position and the second position to be funded by industry. This will benefit all intersted and concerned parties as well as the general populace of California in ensuring we continue to have a strong and viable table grape industry in california.
Posted Aug 6, 2012 6:11 PM by Kevin Andrew
On behalf of M. Pandol& Sons, I fully support the need of a county farm advisor. All to often as an industry it takes someone outside of the business who unites competitors in challenging issues. Should it be cultural trials, varietal or rootstock work, or more importantly of late, invasive species on their own or as vectors of plant killing pathogens. I find that the "farm advisor" is the go to person to when this situation needs to be accomplished. Just one of many tasks that has successfully been accomplished in the past yet as not necessarily in the job description.
Posted Aug 6, 2012 8:57 PM by Andrew Pandol
Vincent B. Zaninovich and Sons Inc. is a fourth generation fresh grape and cherry farming operation. We have used the knowledge and assistance of Don Luvisi, Jennifer Hashim and others to help us solve problems and improve production techniques in our vineyards over the past several years. The continuation of a farm advisor in Kern County is very much needed and supported by our company.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 10:13 AM by John Zaninovich
I am Pest Control Advisor in Kern County. In past years we have relied on our local UC Viticulturists to answer questions and keep us informed about new local grape pest situations and ways to address these problems. We also look to our Farm Advisors for information about new grape varieties and necessary cultural and chemical practices that those professionls have learned from their education, test plots and other sources. It is extremely important that the University of California fills the position of Viticulture Farm Advisor in Kern County.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 1:13 PM by Russ Carlson
Kern County Viticulture Farm Advisor is a very important position as advisor is a direct link between University Research and information user farmer as well as other public.Kern County is leading county in Table Grapes with great contibutions to well of being of large number of people.Table Grapes growing is very complex & need up to date information to control diseases,pests like glassy winged sharpshooter,mealy bug,plant nutition,plant physiolgy.Farm Advisor provided us first hand information.During my last 32years I have used farm advisor extensively.I will not be here,where I am today without their help.As a small family farm i strongly recommend to fill viticulture position in Kern Couty.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 4:33 PM by paramjit Dosanjh
In 2005 Tulare and Kern County table grape growers voted to tax themselves and initiate the Consolidated Central Valley Table Grape Pest and Disease Control District. The purpose of the District is to monitor, research, and support the control of any pest or disease which may endanger the viability of the table grape industry in Tulare and Kern Counties. To be successful against the battle against invasive species it is imperative that the District work collectively with University of California Extension Farm Advisors along with local, state, and federal government partners and other industry organizations. It has been proven that these partnerships are extremely important as shown by successful programs such as the Glassy-winged Sharpshooter Area-wide Treatment Program and the European Grapevine Moth eradication effort. These programs could not have worked without the support of local Farm Advisors participating on the ground and working with local growers in performing needed research and presenting the most up to date information in combating these serious pests. Therefore, the District strongly supports the California Table Grape Commission’s proposal to support the addition of University of California Extension Farm Advisors.
In addition, an important part of the mission of the District is to fund local research on invasive pests and diseases. It has been very difficult especially in the last few years to fund as many projects as we would like since there are not enough local University of California researchers. The opportunity for local research and problem-solving will increase dramatically only if there are Farm Advisors in place in Tulare and Kern Counties.
Again, we support the effort of the Table Grape Commission to fund these positions and urge the University to move forward to get Farm Advisors in place in Tulare and Kern Counties as soon as possible.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 4:59 PM by Judy Stewart-Leslie

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