Building a Better Ag Future with Gavin Newsom

Building a Better Ag Future with Gavin Newsom

In early November, Luis Katsurayama had the rare opportunity of meeting with California Governor, Gavin Newsom.

“I think it went really well and he was very receptive of our concerns,” Katsurayama remarked of the meeting attended by select industry representatives.

Discussion included agriculture labor policies affecting farmworkers, and efforts to shape a better future for both California farms and farmworkers.

Both contractors and growers (like Jasmine Vineyards) expressed concerns to the governor about current policies. Newsom agreed there was room for improvement, and suggested that a small group collaborate on the top five issues that need addressing at the capitol. Newsom indicated he would encourage legislators to join in the discussion to find solutions.

Next steps

On February 26, 2020, a group of farmworkers will meet in Sacramento to meet with legislators face to face. Governor Newsom indicated he will make an appearance.

Further support from Univision, including PSAs for educational campaigns, was offered toward improved policies.

Overall, the meeting with Governor Newsom was highly productive. “We’re all hoping a lot of good change can come from this,” said Katsurayama.

Luis Katsurayama is also a Board Member of the California Farmworker Foundation. As seen in the CFF Board Member Spotlight: Luis was born and raised in Yuma, Arizona, but spent most of his time working in farms in the State of Sonora, Mexico. Luis’ time in Sonora was spent in family farms where his family would grow and sell squash to Japan. After graduating from High School, Luis went to college in Yuma, and then began working for a hispanic media company as a Marketing Manager. In 2000, Luis went back to his roots and began his own business as an independent distributor and broker of leafy greens. In 2014, Luis joined Jasmine Vineyards, where he oversees the farming and food safety operations for the company. Luis currently lives in Temecula with his wife Gina, his daughter Isabella, and his dog, Nico, the Labrador.

Staying True to Our (Conventional) Roots

Staying True to Our (Conventional) Roots

As a California fresh table grape grower for over 70 years, we at Jasmine Vineyards have seen a lot of wonderful trends in the food industry: the “foodie” movement, celebrity chefs taking center stage, recipe blogs, nutrition apps, and people of all ages bringing the joys of baking, cooking, and nutrition to their own corner of the internet.

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Central Valley Pruning Contest Honors Vineyard Workers

Central Valley Pruning Contest Honors Vineyard Workers

DELANO, CA (January 16, 2019) – Central Valley Farmworker Foundation (CVFF) held its 1st Annual Central
Valley Pruning Contest in Delano, California. Central Valley farmworkers had the opportunity to showcase
their pruning skills and earn the title of “champion” during the 1st Annual Central Valley Pruning Contest at
Pandol Vineyards last Saturday.

The contestants were judged on quality, safety, speed, and knowledge of the vineyards by judges from the
University of California, and a representative of Sutter Homes Family Vineyards.

Farmworkers who competed brought their family, friends, and co-workers to see the competition.”I brought
my husband, children, mother-in-law, and co-workers to the competition,” said Yolanda Saldivar of Pandol
Vineyards and participant of the competition. Dozens of farmworkers participated in the pruning competition
and nearly 200 community members from Kern, Fresno, Tulare, and Madera County attended the 1st Annual
Competition.

Each of the participants pruned 5 vines in four minutes in the preliminary competition. Those with the highest
scores went on to a semi-final round, which produced the finalist for the last round of the competition: three
in the women’s division and three in the men’s.

“As we entered the semi-finals it became more competitive, and at times, only one point determined whether
the participant passed to the final,” said Andres Mendez of Sutter Homes Family Vineyards and a judge of the
1st Annual Competition.

All contestants took home pruning contest t-shirts and were treated to lunch, and free health screenings
provided by Delano Regional Medical Center. Also in attendance to distribute information and resources were
the following organizations: Komoto Pharmacy, Wonderful College Prep Academy, and Bakersfield College.

The winners of each division took home $1000 for first place, $750 for second place, and $500 for third place.

All who participated volunteered their time to compete and were paid by their employers while they were at
the competition.

Women’s Division Winners

1st place: Maria de Jesus Sanchez, Grapery. Winnings: $1000 in cash and a trophy of the event.
2nd place: Mireya Espinoza, Milicic and Sons. Winnings $750 in cash and a trophy of the event.
3rd place: Sonia Arredondo, Jasmine Vineyards. Winnings $500 in cash and a trophy of the event.
Men’s Division Winners
1st place: Indalecio Mora, Milicic and Sons. Winnings: $1000 in cash and a trophy of the event.
2nd place: David Machuca, Jasmine Vineyards. Winnings $750 in cash and a trophy of the event.
3rd place: Jose Ivan Ledezma, HMC Farms. Winnings $500 in cash and a trophy of the event.

Sponsors

Premier sponsor for the event: Balco Tools.

Supporting sponsors for the event: AGRO Labor Services Inc, J&S Farm Labor Contractor, and Ofr Inc.

About the Central Valley Farmworker Foundation:
Founded in 2016, the mission of the Central Valley Farmworker Foundation is to serve and support
farmworkers by providing programs and services to better their quality of life.
For more information, visit our website at Central Valley Farmworker Foundation

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