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The 2003 IPM Innovators Awards

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The 2003 Awardees are:

California Association of Winegrape Growers, Sacramento

This voluntary association represents growers who produce about 60 percent of California’s wine grape tonnage. As a national wine industry leader, CAWG has developed and supported sustainable farming practices that are environmentally sound, socially responsible, and economically viable. Recent CAWG activities include an eco-labeling seminar, a sustainable agriculture conference, and a collaborative workshop on vineyards and wildlife habitat. CAWG also has played a key role in DPR’s California Winegrape Pest Management Alliance, which focuses on reduced-risk pest management. In October 2002, CAWG introduced the "Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices" in cooperation with the Wine Institute. This program of best management practices includes a 490-page workbook to promote social responsibility and environmental stewardship. It provides a comprehensive guide to help growers conserve natural resources, protect the environment, and build good working relationships with neighbors. To promote these goals, CAWG and the Wine Institute have distributed more than 2,000 workbooks and held more than 60 workshops statewide in the past year.

Media contact: CAWG President Karen Ross, (916) 924-5370. (For more details, see the Wine Institute award description.)

Wine Institute, San Francisco

Established in 1934, the Wine Institute represents more than 650 California wineries and affiliates who produce more than 90 percent of California’s wine shipments and 80 percent of all U.S. wine shipments. The Wine Institute supports sustainable agriculture through a variety of business alliances. The institute also publishes "Sustainable Winegrowing Practices -- Highlight of the Month", a semi-monthly newsletter that discusses IPM techniques. The institute’s Web site http://www.wineinstitute.org highlights reports and studies that support sustainable practices. Working in cooperation with the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG), the Wine Institute co-produced the "Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices" and an associated workbook to help members of the industry self-assess their business practices for sustainability. More than 600 vineyard representatives and almost 100 winery employees have completed these assessments to date. The Wine Institute and CAWG also have undertaken a "Performance for Sustainability" project in partnership with the California Environmental Protection Agency. This model partnership seeks to protect and enhance the environment by supporting sustainable economic development.

Media contact: Director of Communications Kari Birdseye, (415) 356-7520.

James Berry Vineyards, Paso Robles

This 71-acre farm, owned and operated by the Pebble Smith family, offers a notably successful example of low-impact agriculture. The vineyard has not been tilled in 20 years, reducing the potential for erosion. No insecticides have been used for the last 18 years. Instead, Smith maintains 15 acres of surrounding natural habitat for pest predators. Herbicide use is minimal. The vineyard is a member of the Central Coast Vineyard Team, which encourages reduced-risk pest management practices. Smith has hosted a variety of industry meetings and tours to promote non-tillage and other sustainable techniques, and his vineyard and wines have been the subject of articles in Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, and the Los Angeles Times.

Media contact: Pebble Smith (805) 238-7378.

Nord Coast Vineyard Services Inc., Napa

A family-owned vineyard management company, Nord Coast oversees 600 acres in Napa County and 300 acres in the Gilroy-Hollister area. The firm also does vineyard consulting work with an emphasis on sustainable production. Only reduced-risk pesticides are applied by Nord Coast, and Pierce’s Disease is managed primarily with non-pesticide options. These include stream bank restoration projects to reduce pathogens and erosion, and encourage native plants that harbor natural pest predators. Nord Coast has received three grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for these efforts. The firm also installs nesting boxes and perches in vineyards to attract owls and other raptors that reduce rodent problems. Wildflowers and cover crops are planted to attract beneficial insects and reduce runoff. Nord Coast has played a key role in DPR’s Winegrape Pest Management Alliance and undertaken notable IPM outreach and education efforts. These include programs for Spanish-speaking vineyard workers, as well as growers, pest control advisers, and the public. In addition to other public education events, Nord Coast holds an annual Vineyard Open House where neighbors and other community members learn about Nord Coast’s innovative pest management techniques.

Media contact: Jon Kanagy (707) 226-8774.

City of Palo Alto

Palo Alto’s municipal government has used IPM techniques since the early 1990s. In 2001, the city formed a committee to adopt a citywide IPM policy. Using that policy, the city halted use of some insecticides on city property to avoid potential runoff problems. The IPM program reduced rodent chemical control use by 80 percent; launched specific IPM programs for weeds, yellowjackets, and mice; and provided extensive IPM training and assistance for city staff and the public. An annual IPM report posted online provides public information on when, where, and what pesticides are used on city property, and ranks those pesticides on toxicity. The report also assesses the progress of city departments in meeting IPM goals. To help city residents reduce pesticide use in their own homes and yards, Palo Alto’s Web site www.cityofpaloalto.org offers user-friendly IPM suggestions and resources. Residents can also attend city-sponsored "Bug Buster!" workshops for more help. On another front, the city provides some funding for the regional "Our Water, Our World" program. This regional pollution prevention effort focuses on preserving Bay-area surface waters and distributes IPM information online and through 174 commercial outlets, including hardware stores and nurseries.

Media contact: Environmental Specialist Julie Weiss (650) 329-2117.

Riverside Municipal Museum, Riverside

The museum is a department of the City of Riverside. In 2000, the museum staff adopted an IPM plan to deal with pest management issues unique to such a facility. In the process, the museum created a model IPM program for other museums and public agencies. Climate control is used to reduce humidity and prevent mold and mildew problems. Trapping controls rodents, and large freezer chests are used to kill insect pests without damaging museum specimens. The museum staff documents its pest monitoring and prevention efforts using computer database software. These efforts helped eliminate the use of pesticides inside the museum, and the museum is now renovating landscapes to reduce the need for pesticide use outside the building. As part of an outreach program, the museum has sponsored workshops and created exhibits on IPM and pest management themes. More than 6,700 museum visitors received information about these IPM activities in 2002-03.

Media contact: Communications officer Sharon Cooley (909) 826-5997.

U.C. Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program, Santa Rosa

The Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardener Program in Sonoma County provides IPM education and outreach through its Pesticide Use Reduction Education (PURE) project. Funded by a grant from the City of Santa Rosa, this group of Master Gardeners provides a basic IPM education aimed at residential audiences. The PURE project demystifies IPM by making it more understandable and accessible to the public. For example, the project developed a system called "BUGS" to convey IPM concepts. (Be sure you know the problem. Use common sense [tolerating some level of pests]. Get physical [with traps, water sprays, natural enemies]. Substitute less-toxic products.) The project has developed notable outreach efforts, including workshops and a demonstration garden at the Sonoma County Fair. In two years, more than 50,000 people came in contact with PURE through these efforts.

Media contacts: Paul Vossen (707) 565-2621or Alexandra Devarenne (707) 565-3444.

Ventura Unified School District, Ventura

Since 1999, the district has operated an IPM program that has reduced herbicide use by 90 percent. Indoor pesticides are restricted to pastes, gels, and baits. With a student population of about 17,500, and 28 sites that occupy 326 acres, the district has adopted some innovative techniques to reduce the use of pesticides, and save money on pest management. For example, teachers and district staff control ants by eliminating their trails, using plastic spray bottles filled with a soapy solution. A hot water device used on weeds controls them as effectively as a popular herbicide. Owl nesting boxes have been installed on school property to attract predators against rats, mice, and gophers. And a "zone management system" was developed to identify areas where weed control is needed, and where alternate controls can be used. In addition to educating its own employees on IPM, the district has encouraged IPM adoption through seminars and news articles.

Media contact: Operations Manager Jorge Gutierrez (805) 289-7981 x1010.

If you would like to find out more about IPM, our IPM Innovators, or the IPM Innovators Program, you can contact:

For content questions, contact:
Melissa Plemons
1001 I Street, P.O. Box 4015
Sacramento, CA 95812-4015
Phone: (916) 324-3483
E-mail: school-ipm@cdpr.ca.gov