WASHINGTON, May 16, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Wine Institute honored Congressmen Ken Calvert, R-California, and Jim Costa, D-California, with its Leadership Award during its 34th Washington, D.C. Meeting. Wine Institute President and CEO Robert P. (Bobby) Koch and Wine Institute Board Chairman Greg Coleman, Vice President of Grower Relations for E. & J. Gallo Winery, presented the awards in appreciation for the Congressmen's longstanding support for both California and the U.S. wine industry and many other interests important to California.
Congressman Ken Calvert is a resident of Corona, California, representing the 42nd District in western Riverside County and the area of Southern California that includes the wine region of Temecula. He has served on the House Agriculture Committee and currently serves on the House Appropriations Committee as Chairman of the Interior and Environment Subcommittee. He is the Chairman of the California Republican Delegation. He has been a long-time supporter for increased funding for specialty crops and the Market Access Program for exports, and he has worked to create long-term solutions to California's energy and water challenges.
In the 1990s, Congressman Calvert alerted Wine Institute of the potential threat of the Glassy-winged Sharpshooter and Pierce's Disease which went on to devastate vineyards and other crops in his district. He worked with the California Congressional Delegation to secure the first funding for Pierce's Disease and continues to work with federal and state representatives and growers to provide the necessary resources to fight invasive pests and diseases.
Congressman Jim Costa is a third-generation farmer who represents California's 16th District, which includes areas of Fresno, Madera and Merced counties. He serves on the House Agriculture Committee and is the ranking member on its Livestock and Foreign Agriculture subcommittee. He also serves on the Natural Resources Committee and is on its Water and Power Subcommittee as well as its Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee. Congressman Costa has used his farming background to strengthen California agriculture and the state's economy. He has worked to increase federal support for agriculture through the Farm Bill and other programs.
Recently, Congressman Costa was instrumental in leading the effort to repeal the U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law on beef and pork because it was found to be non-compliant by the WTO multiple times. Failure to pass this legislation would have resulted in devastating high tariffs placed by Canada and Mexico on wine and other California agricultural exports.
"We are proud to honor both Congressman Calvert and Congressman Costa for their outstanding support of California wine and agriculture. They are true champions for the California wine community," said Koch.
"We appreciate Congressmen Calvert and Costa for their support for research, pest and disease control, and export promotion—important programs for California's wineries and vineyards," added Coleman.
Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of nearly 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiate and advocate state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible consumption, production and enjoyment of wine. Wine Institute's membership represents 95 percent of California wine production and 80 percent of U.S. wine production.
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SOURCE Wine Institute