(March 6) The California Table Grape Commission will continue to market the state’s vineyard fruit after growers voted overwhelmingly to fund the commission for another five years.

Kathleen Nave, president of the Fresno-based commission, said nearly 80% of the ballots cast supported continuing the commission and credited her staff for the positive vote.

“They work very hard to develop programs that are effective and make a difference,” Nave said.

State law requires referendums every five years for all state agriculture commissions. The table grape commission was created 40 years ago.

The table grape vote bucked an apparent trend:

  • Last month, growers voted to dissolve the California Pistachio Commission;

  • The board of directors of the California Tomato Commission approved a major staff reduction and limiting the commission’s efforts to research; and

  • The California Kiwifruit Commission board voted to retain the staff of the state’s apple commission to administer kiwifruit programs.