Today, Sonoma County Winegrowers took another step forward in being leaders in sustainability as they announced a complimentary one-year subscription to Ford Pro Telematics to every winegrape farmer in Sonoma County. The announcement arrives on the heels of the exciting collaboration between Sonoma County Winegrowers and Ford Pro which also includes a pilot program with three Sonoma County winegrape farmers who have agreed to adopt Ford Pro electric vehicles, charging stations and software solutions into their operations. It is all part of an effort to improve bottom lines, operational efficiencies and reduce carbon emissions. Early insights from fleet monitoring software, Ford Pro Telematics, installed into pilot farmers existing gas vehicle operations have already proven to show benefits.
“I am most interested to gain insight on our fleet in real time. How long are our vehicles idling and what is the cost for that,” said Marissa Ledbetter, owner of Vino Farms and one of the three pilot farmers in Sonoma County. She added, “To be able to gain insight on all our vehicles, measure it day over day, week over week, will provide me with a level of insight I have never had access to before.”
The intent is to let all farmers experience the many benefits of telematics so they can learn how it will make them more efficient in their vehicle use, lower their operating costs and lower greenhouse gas emissions. This continues the innovation, climate and thought leadership of the local Sonoma County winegrape farmers and is an important milestone to engage all of the farmers in this collaboration and learning.
“Since the announcement of our collaboration with Ford Pro at the beginning of this year, there has been an overwhelming response from our farmers wanting to participate in going electric on their farms and optimizing their fleet management,” said Karissa Kruse, president of the Sonoma County Winegrape Growers. She added, “Given that interest, there is no better day than Earth Day to announce that SCW is offering free installation and one-year service of Ford Pro telematics for all winegrowers in the County. This is a win-win for our growers and the environment. A true tribute to caring for our planet”
Ford Pro Telematics software is a product offered on the Ford Pro Intelligence cloud-based platform, designed to help small businesses optimize their fleet of vehicles by providing always-on access to vehicle health reports and other data that will help the vehicle owner to reduce operating costs, help improve fuel consumption and identify maintenance needs in addition to monitoring and improving driver behaviors.
One of the most critical tools for a farmer is their vehicles which, on average, log up to 50,000 miles a year and make up 10% of a farm’s assets. Understanding vehicle usage, down-time and idling in addition to transitioning fleet operations to electric vehicles will help support the sustainability mission for Sonoma County farmers while helping Sonoma County Winegrowers bring these best practices to farmers across the country.
“The goal of this offer is to provide every grower with ability to use and learn firsthand how telematics can make them more efficient using their work vehicle, lowering their operating costs and lowering greenhouse gas emissions,” said Kruse. “The farm of the future is right here right now in Sonoma County. We are proud to be part of the progress in climate stewardship.”
About Sonoma County Winegrowers
Sonoma County Winegrowers (SCW) was established in 2006 as a marketing and educational organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Sonoma County as one of the world’s premier grape growing regions. With more than 1,800 growers, SCW’s goal is to increase awareness and recognition of the quality, sustainability and diversity of Sonoma County’s grapes and wines through dynamic marketing and educational programs targeted to wine consumers and influencers around the world. 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 completed certification by a third-party auditor making Sonoma County the most sustainable winegrowing region in the world. SCW’s sustainability efforts have been recognized with California’s highest environmental honor, the 2016 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA). Learn more at www.sonomawinegrape.org