Steven Barker, ABLE Commission
Steven Barker is Deputy Director and General Counsel for the ABLE Commission and has served the commission since 2015. Following two years in private practice, Mr. Barker began his public service career as an assistant General Counsel for the Oklahoma Tax Commission supervising a team of attorneys focused on the collection of sales, mixed beverage and withholding taxes. Immediately prior to joining the ABLE Commission, Barker served as an Assistant Attorney General under E. Scott Pruitt providing legal counsel to a variety of state agencies.
William Alter, VESTA Special Projects Coordinator
Bill is Special Projects Coordinator for The Viticulture and Enology Science and Technology Education Alliance (VESTA). This is a program dedicated to addressing the technical workforce needs of the grape and wine industry (GWI). Established at Missouri State University through a grant from the National Science Foundation, VESTA is in its 15th year as a partnership of 17 colleges and universities throughout the U.S. VESTA enables students to acquire knowledge through industry-validated online courses and to develop critical skills in structured field practicums and technical workshops. Recognizing the need for students to gain experience beyond the scope of traditional education programs, VESTA is working with industry associations and government agencies to enable vineyards and wineries to participate in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Registered Apprenticeship program. Bill’s previous experience includes a career as an Air Force Aerospace Physiologist conducting research, teaching at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and managing R&D programs. Later, he served as a Space Grant Fellow at NASA Johnson Space Center, and assisted faculty in acquiring grants at the University of Texas San Antonio and Missouri State University. His educational background includes a Ph.D. in Cardiovascular Physiology from the University of New Mexico.
Michael Cook, Texas A&M Agrilife Extension
Michael Cook is the Viticulture Program Specialist for North Texas with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. His primary function is to provide educational support for the 100 commercial vineyards in the region. Michael is a Dallas native and studied Horticulture at Texas A&M. He was then awarded a fellowship to California State University – Fresno where he earned a Masters of Science in Viticulture & Enology.
Justing Scheiner, Texas A&M Agrilife Extension
Justin Scheiner is an Assistant Professor and Extension Viticulture Specialist with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. In his Extension role, Justin provides educational programming and technical support for grape growers in the Texas Gulf Coast Region and North Texas. His research program focuses on best management practices for vineyards in areas affected by Pierce’s Disease. Justin also teaches undergraduate courses in the Department of Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M University in College Station and serves as a member of the graduate faculty.
Justin received a B.S. from Sam Houston State University in Horticulture and Crop Sciences, an M.S. in Molecular and Environmental Plant Sciences from Texas A&M University, and a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Cornell University where his research focused on green flavors in red wine grapes.
Performance Rights Organizations & Wineries Homestead Exemption
Information to come
Wine Additives (Bench Trials)
Information to come