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For Immediate Release
February 26, 2001
Release #CDFA01-017
Contact: Steve Lyle
Jay Van Rein

Briefing scheduled for California Congressional Delegation

WASHINGTON, D.C. - California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Secretary, William (Bill) J. Lyons, Jr., and a coalition of industry leaders will update California's Congressional delegation on the progress and prospects of the Pierce's Disease Control Program at a briefing on Capitol Hill Wednesday, February 28, 2001. The briefing is hosted by the Congressional Wine Caucus, co-chaired by Representatives George Radanovich (R-CA) and Mike Thompson (D-CA). The coalition includes representatives of the wine, nursery and citrus industries, whose businesses, employees and communities are directly impacted by the combined threat of the disease and the insect that spreads it - the glassy-winged sharpshooter.

Members of the coalition will be in Washington, D.C. on February 26-28, 2001, to meet with their representatives and the staff of the United States Department of Agriculture, a cooperating agency in the Pierce's Disease Control Program.

"Over the past 18 months, the Pierce's Disease Control Program has been developed under emergency legislation in California and funded through the leadership of Governor Gray Davis and state and federal lawmakers," said Lyons. "Citizens from affected communities and industries have helped shape the program. We arranged this briefing with congressional representatives to give these stakeholders an opportunity to explain the value and importance of this program."

The program has generated numerous research projects and a growing body of knowledge about Pierce's disease. The program aims to contain the spread of the insect and the disease until researchers can find a treatment or cure.

The briefing will be held at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 28, 2001, at the Cannon House Office Building, Room 122. Attached is a list of CDFA representatives and coalition members who have been asked to represent their industries at the briefing.

California Department of Food and Agriculture

William (Bill) J. Lyons, Jr., Secretary
Bob Wynn, Statewide Coordinator of the Pierce's Disease Control Program

Citrus Industry

California Citrus Mutual: Joel Nelsen, President
Sunkist Growers: Kam Quarles, Director, Federal Government Affairs
California Citrus Quality Council: Jean-Mari Peltier, President
California Citrus Research Program: Ted A. Batkin, President

Nursery Industry

California Association of Nurserymen (CAN): Robert H. Falconer, Director of Government Affairs
Valley Crest Tree Company, Inc.: Stuart J. Sperber, President
Hines Nurseries, Inc. E.G. (Bud) Summers, Ph.D., Vice President, Nursery Division
American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA): Craig J. Regelbrugge, Senior Director
          of Government Relations

Wine/Grape Industry

California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG): Dana Merrill, Chairman of the Board (also owner,
          Mesa Vineyard and Coastal Valley Management)
California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG): Karen Ross, President
Wine Institute: Robert P. Koch, Senior Vice President
American Vintners Association: Bill Nelson, Vice President
Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates: Edgar B. "Pete" Downs, Vice President of Government Affairs
Robert Mondavi Family of Wineries: Herb Schmidt, Vice President of Public Affairs
California Agricultural Commissioners and Sealers Association (CACASA): David R. Whitmer, President
          (also Agricultural Commissioner, Napa County)

For more information about the glassy-winged sharpshooter and Pierce's disease, click on CDFA's web page at

FLEX YOUR POWER. To meet California's energy challenge, CDFA urges businesses and consumers to conserve. For a list of simple ways that you can reduce demand and cut your energy costs, see our Web site:

1220 N Street, Suite 100, Sacramento, California  95814