Sonoma County’s Winegrowing Community Renames Youth Pruning Contest in Honor of Saralee McClelland Kunde

11th Annual Pruning Contest to be Held on January 17, 2015

SANTA ROSA, Calif.,—Inspired by Saralee McClelland Kunde’s lifelong passion for educating area youth about agriculture, Sonoma County’s winegrowing community has renamed its annual youth pruning contest to “Saralee’s Sonoma County Youth Pruning Contest” in her honor. The 2015 event will be held on Saturday, January 17, 2015 with registration check-in beginning at 9:00 am. This event will be at SRJC Shone Farm, 6225 Eastside Road in Forestville, CA.

SCW_saralee_youthprune_brown.jpgIn its 11th year, this popular pruning contest and viticulture challenge brings area youth, ages 9-18, out into the vineyards to learn about viticulture and sustainable practices, including the art and skill of pruning vines. During the friendly contest, participating youth will compete in their appropriate age categories and will be judged on their pruning skills, speed, and most importantly, safety. The viticulture challenge is a great forum for area youth to test their knowledge about the history of agriculture and grape growing in Sonoma County; important facts about vineyards and grapes; sustainable farming practices; and other aspects of working in the vineyards.  Individual and team awards will be given

“Saralee spent her life inspiring Sonoma County’s youth, helping them connect with agriculture, including programs like our annual pruning contest and viticulture challenge,” said Karissa Kruse, President of the Sonoma County Winegrowers. “It’s important that we continue her legacy by providing opportunities for our youth to get hands-on experience and exposure to our local agriculture and grape growing community.”

Saralee McClelland Kunde was a strong, dedicated advocate for Sonoma County agriculture and worked tirelessly promoting and preserving the region’s farming and ranching heritage.  During her life, she helped shape the Sonoma County Harvest Fair; inspired local youth to get involved in 4-H and the Future Farmers of America; and was relentless in educating the public on the importance of a strong agricultural industry in Sonoma County.

How to Register

Saralee’s Sonoma County Pruning Contest is open to all Sonoma County youth, including 4-H, FFA and High School students in the following age brackets: Ages 9 – 11, Ages 12 – 13, Ages 14 – 15, and Ages 16 – 18. The Viticulture Challenge is also open to students aged 5-18. Medical insurance coverage is required of each pruning participant.

Students interested in competing must submit their registration forms no later than January 14, 2015. For Pruning Contest entries contact Pat Stornetta at 707-938-4011 or [email protected] For information on the Viticulture Challenge, contact Christine Neles at 707-938-0730 or [email protected]

About the Sonoma County Winegrowers

The Sonoma County Winegrape Commission, also known as the Sonoma County Winegrowers (SCW), is a marketing and education organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Sonoma County as one of the world’s premier grape growing regions. SCW has oversight by California Department of Food and Agriculture which supports producer regions. With more than 1,800 growers, SCW’s goal is to increase awareness and recognition of the quality and diversity of Sonoma County’s grapes and wines through dynamic marketing and educational programs targeted to wine consumers around the world.

In January 2014, SCW committed to becoming the nation’s first 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.  For more information about SCW and its programs, visit

Media Contact

Sean Carroll
[email protected]

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