Last week, WineAmerica and Donniella Winchell, Executive Director of the Ohio Wine Producers Association and Vice Chair of the WineAmerica SRAAC, led a small delegation of winemakers and grape growers to Washington, DC, including long time WineAmerica Members Debonne Vineyards and Ferrante Winery. The Grand River Valley in Northeast Ohio suffered catastrophic losses to their grape crops last year due to the extreme cold weather of the 2014 Polar Vortex, with many vineyards facing 100% crop loss. The delegation met with the USDA and the members of the Ohio Congressional delegation to bring USDA and the delegation up to date on all of the 2014 losses. WineAmerica’s government affairs firm Meyers & Associates participated and facilitated these important meetings.
The WineAmerica and the Ohio delegation met with the Risk Management Division of USDA to express appreciation for existing programs, such as the Tree Assistance Program which is part of the Farm Bill, and to explore any potential avenues to address the 2014 losses. Congressional meetings included Rep. David Joyce (whose district includes the Grand River Valley) and Rep. Marcy Kaptur, and the offices of Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman.
Forming and maintaining important relationship with members of Congress, and keeping them up-to-date on the wine industry’s many needs, is just one example of how WineAmerica works for its members. Get involved. Join today.