OWA successfully advocates to advance industry response to wildfires
PORTLAND, June 25, 2021 – The Oregon Winegrowers Association has partnered with Oregon State University to secure $ 2.68 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to increase OSU’s ability to test the wine and wine grapes to detect the impacts of smoke during forest fires and to conduct research on mitigation techniques. The funding comes in the dying days of the 2021 legislative session. There was stiff competition for these funds, with lawmakers submitting more than $ 30 billion in allocation requests of $ 2 billion. The wine industry, in partnership with OSU, has developed a strong proposal to address the need for Oregon producers and wineries to have a local testing option after OSU has transformed into a resource during the devastating wildfire season of 2020.
“The Oregon Winegrowers Association has been instrumental in securing funding for our new Smoke Lab and in facilitating the strong relationship between the Oregon wine industry and Oregon State University,” said Dr. Alan Sams, Dean of Agricultural Sciences at OSU.
This $ 2.68 million builds on other federal dollars obtained by OWA in partnership with winemakers in California and Washington to improve research to counteract the damaging effects smoke from wildfires can have. on the vines. The coalition got $ 2 million in 2019, $ 3.5 million in 2020, and is looking for $ 5 million in the current credit cycle. With these dollars, the USDA Agricultural Research Service has established an ongoing research program on grape smoke mitigation and is providing funding to researchers at OSU, UC Davis and Washington State University. The additional funds for the OSU laboratory will further enhance this critical research.
“The OWA is leading our industry’s advocacy efforts to gain support for research, laboratory testing capacity, disaster relief and crop insurance to help our growers and our customers. vineyards to adapt to the growing threat posed by forest fires, ”said Alex Sokol Blosser, President of the OWA. “With the strong support of state and federal lawmakers, we are strengthening our ability to respond to this challenging environment.”
About the Oregon Vineyard Association
The Oregon Winegrowers Association advances and protects the investments of its members. Harnessing the power of statewide consensus, the OWA stands as a critical advocate for the health, growth and economic sustainability of Oregon’s wine and wine community. The OWA is the premier advocacy organization representing all facets of the Oregon wine industry. Visit www.oregonwinegrowers.org for more information.