Good Fruit Grower

February 2015

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26 FEBRUARY 1, 2015 Good Fruit Grower For sales on East Coast contact us directly. For sales on West Coast contact; Imported from Italy by; Beamsville, Ontario 905.563.8261 1.800.827.0972 The Orsi labour platform is a very well-built machine that will save you money. Features include; Kubota diesel, auto steer with ultra sonic sensors, auto level for use in uneven terrain, auto diff. lock, hydraulic balconies, compressor, 4WD/4WS and much more. No need to bin-out orchard for harvest - machine carries 5 empties. Easy to use and requires little management. Worker education is a priority Lots of eyes in the vineyard help Julia Kock stay on top of things. Melissa Hansen J ulia Kock, general manager at Klipsun Vineyards in Benton City, Washington, is passionate about two things—growing the best grapes possible and worker education. She believes educated workers help her produce high-quality fruit, thus, she regularly sends employees to educational programs offered by the state's wine industry. Kock, and Klipsun Vineyards' owners David and Patricia Gelles, are big proponents of education in the vineyard. They want their workers to understand the "why" behind the vineyard tasks. About 90 percent of Klipsun's regular work force of around 20 has attended an educational program tailored to the wine industry's Spanish-speaking workers. Programs include summer tailgate meetings discussing grapevine leafroll and red blotch diseases, day-long Spanish sessions at statewide wine grape conventions, and a six-month certificated class developed for Latino viticulture workers. Twelve Klipsun employees graduated from or are attending the Latino Agricultural Education Program for Viticulture, a program sponsored by the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers and hosted by Yakima Valley Community College. The program is coordinated through the Hispanic Orchard Employee Education Program and taught by Leo Garcia and Francisco Sarmiento of Wenatchee Valley College. Since the viticulture program's inception in 2006, it has expanded to three levels. Klipsun also hires interns from Washington State University's viticulture and enology four-year degree program. Kock was in the first graduating class of WSU's viticulture and enology program in 2004. Kock encourages employees to participate in edu- cational programs by paying workers their wages when they attend the various classes and events. For the Latino viticulture program, that means paying them to attend lectures in Grandview every Friday from November through April. It's a commitment of both the employer and employee. Klipsun is sending its first female employee to this year's program. Klipsun Vineyards has always placed emphasis on education, even before a recent study projected that up to 2,800 more vineyard workers with less than a two-year degree could be needed in Washington's wine grape industry through 2018.

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