Arkansas legislature lauds fruit-breeding program…
The Arkansas legislature has applauded the University of Arkansas’s fruit-breeding program for its impact on the state’s economy. A resolution by the state House of Representatives recognizes Dr. James Moore, founder of the program, and Dr. John Clark, current head of the program.
The breeding program has released 40 fruit varieties in the 40 years since Moore established it. Three new white-fleshed peaches (White River, White Rock, and White County) were released in 2004. The program has also released seven varieties of grapes, three varieties of nectarines, and five varieties of processing peaches, as well as strawberries, blackberries, and ornamental fruit varieties.
Arkansas fruit crops contribute almost $10 million to the Arkansas economy, according to the university’s division of agriculture.
Rodriquez named grape grower of 2005…
Miguel Rodriguez, production manager at Sagemoor Farms’s Weinbau vineyard, received the 2005 Erik Hanson Memorial Grower of the Year award during the recent annual meeting of the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers. Rodriguez, who came to the United States at age 12, began working at Sagemoor, near Pasco, Washington, when he was 16. In 1986, he began taking care of the 260-acre Weinbau vineyard, located on the Wahluke Slope above the Columbia River near Mattawa. Today, the block has grown to 360 acres.
Rodriguez is characterized by fellow growers as a hard worker and one who communicates well with winemakers and growers. “He has an intuitive sense about what a winemaker wants and is always a step ahead,” said Paul Champoux in making the award.
Charlie Hoppes, winemaker and wine consultant, said that Rodriguez works behind the scenes and has made him a better winemaker. “He has an innate feel to growing grapes.”
In the Weinbau vineyard, Rodriguez grows grapes for 23 different wineries.
Washington launches wine advertising campaign…
February marked the kickoff of the Washington Wine Commission’s targeted advertising campaign in Tampa, Florida—the first national advertising effort for Washington State’s wine industry. The test-market campaign includes print, radio, and outdoor advertising and in-store promotions and will run through April. Pre- and post-consumer surveys will be used to measure campaign awareness among wine drinkers.
Tampa was selected as the test market because the area has higher than average wine consumption and features many similar demographics as other midsized cities, said Robin Pollard, executive director of the commission. “However, Florida wine consumers have relatively low awareness of Washington wine. By launching our first national ad campaign in a ‘clean’ test market, we can see the degree by which our efforts can move the needle.”
The $385,000 campaign was designed by Edelman of Seattle, Washington. If the campaign is successful, a sustained marketing program will be established in Florida, and the program will be expanded to other key national markets.