Chilliwack’s Stephanie Berkhout is the 2020 Young Grower of the Year, an international award presented by AmericanHort. (Submitted/ Chilliwack Progress)

Chilliwack woman earns international accolade in horticulture industry

Stephanie Berkhout of Chilliwack was awarded the 2020 Young Grower of the Year award by AmericanHort

A young Chilliwack woman earned international recognition last week in the field of horticulture.

Stephanie Berkhout, 28, of Qualitree Propagators Inc. in Rosedale won the 2020 Young Grower of the Year award during AmericanHort’s virtual Cultivate20 seminar on July 14.

Berkhout said she was “mega stoked” to bring this award in for Canada and for Qualitree, a Chilliwack-based wholesale propagation and nursery operation that ships plants across North America.

The GrowerTalks/Nexus Young Grower Award is presented to worthy candidates that demonstrate passion, creativity, leadership and a desire to excel. The award is presented annually at the premier horticulture trade show, Cultivate, in Columbus, Ohio. This year Cultivate20 was held virtually, including the announcement of the award winner.

Berkhout was announced as one the three finalists back in March.

The essay question in applying for the award was: What do you think will be the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on your business, your customers and your community?

Part of Berkhout’s response was: “Given that we live in such a rural area, it didn’t come as a surprise to notice that once folks started isolating, many in our communities turned to the garden centres. Not just the die-hard gardeners, but even those newer to plant hobbies; people who decided to trade in some Netflix episodes for hands-in-dirt time.

“I’m cautiously optimistic for the horticulture industry post COVID-19. I’m encouraged by the many homeowners returning to the garden, patio or finding joy in plants in their home. I’m reassured by the fortitude of my neighbours, suppliers, customers and colleagues.”

Berkhout joined Qualitree while working towards a Horticulture Science Degree at University of the Fraser Valley. She provides direction and leads her team of growers on irrigation and fertigation decisions, weed management, creation of tasks, quality control of operations, soil sampling, water sampling, and cleanliness.

“Stephanie leads by example. Her engaging, positive attitude is infectious; she inspires her team and others in the company,” reads the press release from Qualitree. “Stephanie is a natural integrator – she includes everyone, and sees value in everyone. She believes in developing people, and acts on this – many of our team members are living proof.”

“I could not have achieved this without steadfast support from all the amazing colleagues at work, very patient friends, my wonderful quirky family and of course my incredibly caring, resilient husband,” Berkhout said.

RELATED: Chilliwack greenhouse company works through challenges amid COVID-19 pandemic


 

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on?
Email: jenna.hauck@theprogress.com
Twitter: @PhotoJennalism

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

AgricultureAwards

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
It’s Election Day in B.C.: Here’s what you need to know to vote

B.C.’s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

A pair of crashes on Highway 1 between Abbotsford and Chilliwack have snarled traffic in both directions.
Pair of crashes snarl traffic between Abbotsford and Chilliwack

Traffic delays eastbound, large westbound backup

Final numbers won't be known for weeks, but turnout was down across the board in the Fraser Valley and B.C.
Chart: Tyler Olsen
Election turnout down across Fraser Valley and B.C.

Even after thousands of mail-in ballots counted, turnout is likely to fall below 50% in many ridings

NEWS FILE PHOTO
Voters in Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Mission and Langley may head back to polls in 2021

Election of local politicians in BC vote would trigger by-elections in several Fraser Valley cities

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

This Crescent Beach home, located at 12505 22 Ave., was subject of a police search warrant June 18. (Google image)
Civil forfeiture office alleges $2M Surrey home was used to launder cannabis money

Court documents request the home, and $85,000 to be turned over to the government

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Mounties looking for teen boy ‘unlawfully at large’ from Riverview psychiatric hospital

Nolan Godron left the hospital, located at 2721 Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam, without consent on Saturday

Most Read