The Napa County Agricultural Commissioner and staff are responsible for the implementation of Federal, State and local regulatory programs within Napa County. Specifically, these programs are designed to protect people and the environment and promote agriculture within the County of Napa. The Glassy-winged Sharpshooter (GWSS) is an insect that spreads a lethal disease called Pierce’s Disease to ornamental plants and crops such as grapes and almonds. There is no known cure for this disease.
Infestations of this insect have occurred in counties neighboring Napa County. If an infestation occurs in Napa County, thousands of acres of crops, trees and plants could become infected and die. This would result in many millions of dollars in losses to the agricultural community and would have a devastating impact on the beauty of Napa County and its economy.
To raise awareness about the dangers of the GWSS and how Napa Valley wine industry professionals and private citizens can do their part to keep the insect out of Napa County, Balzac Communications created and implemented a major public awareness campaign. Among the primary tactics used was the creation and distribution of cleverly designed outreach materials, including brochures, posters, bumper stickers, newsletters and billboards. The company also produced numerous newspaper and radio ads as well as a video public service announcement. Additionally the company organized public appearance events for organization leaders and the campaign mascot, “Sharpie, the Glassy-winged Sharpshooter.”
Since 2006, we have worked on this campaign. Surveys conducted by Balzac revealed that 89% of Napa County residents know what the Glassy-winged Sharpshooter is and the danger it poses to Napa County. To date, there has not been a Glassy-winged Sharpshooter infestation in Napa County.