Sonoma County Winegrowers, a marketing and educational organization dedicated to promoting Sonoma County as a premier grape-growing region, is taking an innovative step to build upon its role as a global leader in sustainable farming. The organization’s president and CEO, Karissa Kruse, unveiled several new partnerships and programs at the annual meeting, including a forward-thinking effort called the “Farm of the Future.”
The Farm of the Future is an innovation accelerator and living sustainability lab that will respond to climate impacts and changes in the marketplace. It will be a platform for businesses to share new technologies and put them into real-life practice. In addition, partners and collaborators can leverage Sonoma County Winegrowers’ sustainability leadership and a network of climate stewards and forward-thinking change agents. The goal is to preserve agriculture in Sonoma County and the United States.
The Farm of the Future will address several key areas that are critical to the future of agriculture and the planet. These include the end of our food sources, national security, open space, ag land, sustainability, and climate stewardship. By providing a living lab, Sonoma County winegrowers can pilot proof concept learning that may eventually result in game-changing solutions for farmers nationwide and around the globe.
Sonoma County Winegrowers’ sustainability efforts have been recognized with California’s highest environmental honor, the 2016 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA). In addition, in 2020, SCW became the exclusive pilot partner for the California Land Stewardship’s Climate Adaptation Certification. 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 received certification from a third-party auditor, making Sonoma County the most sustainable wine-growing region worldwide.
Kruse emphasizes that Sonoma County has a unique opportunity to be a living lab for the future of farming and an innovative accelerator. With more soil types than all of France, a diverse topography, and unique microclimates, Sonoma County has a proven record of leadership in sustainability and climate stewardship. The organization invites thought leaders and innovators to join them in their mission to preserve agriculture in the county and beyond.
In addition to the Farm of the Future, Sonoma County Winegrowers continues to drive marketing for the region through its partnerships with Landry’s and GuildSomm. The organization will also host the second annual Healdsburg Food & Wine Experience, the only international wine and food show in a wine region. Last year’s event raised more than $100,000 for its non-profit beneficiary, the Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation.
The event also marked the presentation of the Nick Frey Community Contribution Award to Congressman Mike Thompson, the first time the award has ever been presented to an elected official. Congressman Thompson was instrumental in creating the Congressional Wine Caucus, which has effectively brought members of Congress and the wine community together to address serious issues.
Sonoma County Winegrowers’ innovative programs and impressive new partnerships are all linked to building upon its role as a global leader in sustainable farming. With the introduction of the Farm of the Future, Sonoma County winegrowers are taking an innovative step to address the future of our food source, national security, open space, ag land, sustainability, and climate stewardship. The organization’s commitment to sustainability and climate stewardship is unwavering, and it remains an open invitation for thought leaders and innovators.
Image provided by Tim Mossholder
You must log in to post a comment.