Measuring Sustainability

Published on September 13, 2011 by in News

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Wines & Vines – Editorial Column

By: Clifford Ohmart

September 2011

“The wine community has embraced the concept of sustainability like no other cropping system. Since the early 1990s winegrowers and winemakers have been committed to moving along the sustainability continuum, from less sustainable to more sustainable. For the most part, progress has been measured by implementing and tracking practices.”

To view this video and continue to read the entire article please follow this link.

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View from the Vineyard: A Practical Guide to Sustainable Winegrape Growing

By: Clifford Ohmart
September 2011

SureHarvest’s Cliff Ohmart, author and entomologist, brings reason and clarity to the politically loaded and amorphously defined popular world of sustainable viticulture with this unique and comprehensive examination of the subject.  View from the Vineyard does much more than explain what “sustainable” means, its practical importance to the wine industry and the costs of agribusiness as usual.

Click here for more information.

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Date: April 20, 2011

By: Michelle Rothmeyer

In an effort to provide a more informative, interactive online experience for retailers, restaurateurs, food service personnel and members of the agricultural industry, the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) has redesigned and launched http://www.wisconsinpotatoes.com. The site focuses solely on the needs of trade members, with navigation centered on core industry interests — sustainable farming, agricultural research, marketing tools, legislative initiatives, consumer preferences and changing trends in food service.

To read the full article visit: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=230983

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Healthy Grown Program Update

Published on March 22, 2011 by in News

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March 22, 2011

By: Deana Knuteson, University of Wisconsin – Madison

The “Healthy Grown” potato program has enjoyed continual success since its inception enrolling 4000-6000 acres annually (10-15% of the Wisconsin fresh potato crop).  We have been successful in developing educational tools to help growers advance their practices to use more biologically-based, less toxic practices, to become knowledgeable about ecosystem conservation and take positive conservation actions to protect or restore rare plants and animals on privately owned farms, and to move to more sustainable growing practice to receive marketplace recognition. These educational tools have been used in states throughout the US and internationally.

A tenet of the program has been to measure and document changes in the industry that have resulted from the program.  In the past eight years, participating growers achieved a 52% increase in adoption of sustainable practices accompanied by a 30% reduction in the toxicity of pesticides applied to potatoes, without sacrificing yield, quality or profitability. Furthermore, more than 400 acres of privately owned non-agricultural landscapes have been restored to increase biodiversity on the individual farms as a result of this program.

There have been local successes in the sales and marketing of “Healthy Grown” potatoes, although large scale sales have not occurred as of yet. However, ongoing discussions with several large, Wisconsin-based potato grower and brokerage cooperatives concerning the use of the sustainable certification provided by the “Healthy Grown” program are expected to significantly increase sales in 2011

Since 2010, with the beginning of our “Healthy Farms” initiative, we have been able to expand our working groups to include vegetable processors, buyers, and additional growers to increase participation of the program.  We have developed pilot “Whole Farm Standards” that assesses sustainability at the farm level in conjunction with pilot standards for fresh and processed potatoes, processed snap beans and carrots.  The Whole Farm Standard addresses criteria in Environmental (ecosystems, biodiversity, soil, water, crop nutrients, pest management), Social (labor, community, consumer) and Economic (profitability, energy, carbon, value added) sustainability. The individual crop standards address sustainability criteria that are specific to each crop. The expanded standards will be piloted to Midwestern growers in 2011.  In the near future, we plan to include more vegetable and field crops into the effort.  It is a critical time to develop a whole farm program, as growers need to capitalize on market opportunities which are arising as a result of the “sustainability” and “green” initiatives which have been started in the food industry.

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By: Ukiah Daily Journal Staff

Date: March 14, 2011

Lodi Rules growers are making headlines!  For example, Dempel Ranch Vineyards was recently featured in the Ukiah Daily journal. Take a look at the article below and learn more about the history of the Dempel operation and why their involvement in the Lodi Rules program is important.

Dempel Ranch Vineyards in the Ukiah Daily Journal

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Healthy Grown Video

Published on February 7, 2011 by in News

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Healthy Grown Program

February 7, 2011

Are you interested in learning more about the Healthy Grown program that we administer? Check out this video which gives a brief highlight of the certification process and the standards that must be met in order to become Healthy Grown certified.

The Wisconsin Potatoes website has a wealth of useful information related to the Healthy Grown program.

Please use the link below to access the video and website:

Healthy Grown/Wisconsin Potatoes Video

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Lodi Rules Grower Application Materials

Published on January 31, 2011 by in News

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Please use the links below to access the 2011 Lodi Rules Application Material.

Lodi Rules Application Cover letter

Lodi Rules Application

Field Spreadsheet

Lodi Rules Calendar

Lodi Rules Certification Manual

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By: Lodi Wine Country

Date: January 18, 2011

The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition is the largest wine tasting of American wines in the world, and this year the Lodi wine region has reason to celebrate! Not only did Lodi wine’s achieve more Golds this year then ever before, but a total of 133 wines from the region went on to receive some sort of distinction.  Notably, Lodi Rules growers were at the top of the pack! Bokisch Vineyards received Best of Class for their 2008 Terra Alta Vineyard Garnacha and Golds for their 2009 Albarino and  2008 Tempranillo. Michael-David, another large supporter or the Lodi Rules program, walked away with numerous awards including Best of Class for their 2009 Incognito. Ripken Winery was awarded a Double Gold for their 2008 Petite Syrah and Silver for their 2008 El Matador Tempranillo. Congratulations to our Lodi Rules growers for setting a high standard for sustainably grown wine!

For a complete review of the competition: Click Here

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“Green Consumers Skeptical of ‘Natural’ Label”

January 13, 2011

According to a new study by MamboTrack Research, green consumers are increasingly skeptical of the products being labeled as ‘natural’. The most notable statistic that displays this point is 65% of people interviewed showed interest in a uniform set of standards and guidelines for ‘naturally’ labeled products.  The study also shows those same consumers who are concerned with sustainability in food products have little faith in industry and retailer certification but prefer certification by a third party, non-profit organization or government agency. With the increasing number of natural labeled products, it is warranted for consumers to be cautious and decipher the faux from the real.

To read the entire article about the study please click here.

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Lodi Rules vs. Organic

Published on January 11, 2011 by in News

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January 11, 2011

By:  Lange Twins Winery and Vineyards

The Lodi Rules program has grown increasingly strong since its start in 2005. The program is now certifying over 21,000 acres of wine grapes across California! LangeTwins Winery is just one of many local wineries that act as avid supporters of the program. You can see here their thoughts on what sets Lodi Rules apart from organic certification.

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