Willamette Valley Viticulture Scholarship (WVVS)

One of the veterans in the Oregon wine industry is Buddy Beck, who got his start in the wine industry over 25 years ago.  After graduating from Oregon State University he was given an opportunity to work with Allen Holstein at Argyle Winery where he managed vineyards for ten years.  Today Buddy is the owner of Advanced Vineyard Systems, Inc. managing 20 vineyards and working with 50 wine makers around the Willamette Valley.

Buddy learned about the Willamette Valley Viticulture Scholarship (WVVS) and the matching donation the Erath Family Foundation would make supporting viticulture industry employees. He was immediately interested and on board.  Buddy made the first donation to support his employee and Chemeketa viticulture student, Carlos Martinez-Feleyson in the WVVS. Buddy said, “I instantly thought of Carlos. He’d already decided to attend the viticulture program and I knew it was a question of financing.”

Carlos said, “I didn’t decide to get a degree in viticulture from the very beginning. My dad had worked in the vineyard industry since 2000, but he recommended that I look for a career somewhere else. My primary interest was with computers, so I took electives in computer programming in high school. I was looking to a career as a software engineer. However, Buddy asked me if I wanted a job when I had turned 16 and I accepted. At first I did it for the money but then I started to get interested in the process that grapevines go through during the seasons. So I had the practice but I needed the theory. “

Carlos’ father and Buddy have been his inspiration for going into the viticulture degree program.

Carlos adds, “Buddy was the first person to offer me a job and the opportunity to achieve something with my life. He also put faith in my ability to learn, and has been willing to sponsor my education.  I have been given the opportunity to further my education in viticulture, and I hope others have the chance that I’ve been given. “

Buddy adds, “This is a wonderful opportunity for Carlos and I appreciate Dick Erath and his family for developing this scholarship. It will help others get into the industry that otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity. “

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