The Washington Wine Industry Foundation is administering three grants totaling nearly $525,000 that deal with clean plants, winery worker safety and training, and plant pests and diseases.
The most recent award is a $174,000 grant from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries Safety and Health Investment Projects. The grant is being used to identify safety-training gaps in small to midsized wineries and develop performance-based safety-training methods to reduce employee illnesses, injuries, and fatalities.
The grant will develop training manuals, mobile apps, and Web-based instruction materials in English and Spanish to establish a “safety culture” in smaller wineries. The grant period ends June 2014.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, through a section of the 2008 Farm Bill that provided for projects contributing to plant pest and disease management, awarded $100,000 for fiscal year 2013 to the Wine Foundation.
The project extends work done under the Washington State Clean Plant Campaign, a coordinated effort of state, university, and industry to ensure access to clean plants for Pacific Northwest grape growers. The funds are being used for outreach and education in both English and Spanish.
Lastly, the Wine Foundation is concluding the final months of a project funded by a specialty crop block grant of nearly $250,000 awarded by the Washington State Department of Agriculture to ensure access to clean plants in the Pacific Northwest.
It involves testing vines in nurseries that sell certified plant material, and extensive outreach and education about the importance of using clean plants.