Effort Will Build Off Local Wine Community’s Sustainability Leadership
SANTA ROSA, Calif. (February 3, 2022) — Ever wonder what the farm of the future will look like? Chances are you won’t have to look very far.
Following last week’s announcement of a new collaboration between Ford Pro and Sonoma County Winegrowers, the farm of the future in America is likely going to be experienced first in Sonoma County, the nation’s most sustainable winegrowing region, in the very near future.
On Thursday, for the second year in a row, local winegrape growers turned to technology to virtually participate in Sonoma County Winegrape Growers’ 31st annual Dollars and $ense Seminar and Trade Show. As in past years, Karissa Kruse, president of the Sonoma County Winegrowers, used the annual event to showcase the sustainability efforts of the organization and shed light on future activities.
“We have used the past 18 months of the pandemic to rethink everything we do to ensure we further our sustainability goals. This includes creating the resources, programs and collaborations to accelerate our efforts to successfully farm in the future,” said Karissa Kruse, president of the Sonoma County Winegrape Growers. She added, “Our intent is for Sonoma County to be an active case study and living lab for the world and our collaboration with Ford Pro is a big step forward to achieve that mission.”
Working with Ford Pro, Sonoma County winegrowers will be learning about the transition to electric vehicles, fleet management and optimization and how they can play a bigger role in lowering the use of fossil fuels and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This innovative new effort will make farming in Sonoma County and around the country even more sustainable.
Envisioning what’s ahead for local farmers, Sonoma County Winegrowers launched a new “Farm of the Future” initiative today at Dollars & $ense. This pioneering climate and sustainability program will support Sonoma County’s farmers in optimizing the best practices for climate adaptation, leverage the latest in innovation and technology while recognizing that every year farmers respond to mother nature and need flexibility in farming. This set of best management practices improves their ability to sequester carbon and lower GHG emissions while responding to the current climate, regulatory, marketplace, community, culture and business conditions. There is no single perfect response to these challenges, but there is a way to optimize practices every year and continuously improve. This program builds on the local winegrowing community’s commitment to sustainability and the learning gained from being part of a climate adaptation pilot the past two years.
Kruse added, “The Farm of the Future gives us an unprecedented approach to farming, best practices, current conditions and how we continue to inspire innovation, thought leadership and partnerships to support Sonoma County grape growing.”
About Sonoma County Winegrowers:
Sonoma County Winegrowers (SCW) was established in 2006 as a marketing and educational organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Sonoma County as one of the world’s premier grape growing regions. With more than 1,800 growers, SCW’s goal is to increase awareness and recognition of the quality, sustainability and diversity of Sonoma County’s grapes and wines through dynamic marketing and educational programs targeted to wine consumers and influencers around the world. In 2014, Sonoma County’s winegrowing community embarked on a major initiative to have all Sonoma County vineyards certified sustainable. Today, 99% of the vineyard acreage in Sonoma County has completed certification by a third-party auditor making Sonoma County the most sustainable winegrowing region in the world. In addition, in 2020, SCW was a pilot partner in a climate adaptation program to learn how local farmers could create custom farm plans to be part of the climate solution and leaders in this movement. SCW’s sustainability efforts have been recognized with California’s highest environmental honor, the 2016 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA). Learn more at www.sonomawinegrape.org.