The North American Blueberry Council (NABC) BB #:162393 and U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) mourn the sudden passing of our friend and industry leader Bernadine Strik, Ph.D.
A veteran professor of horticulture and a berry crop specialist and researcher at Oregon State University (OSU), Strik led ground-breaking research that transformed the blueberry industry, improving yield and quality, machine harvest efficiency, pruning, optimization of production systems, plant nutrition and organic production systems in all berry crops.
She published over 240 scientific papers and was an accomplished author. In addition to her academic research, she operated a berry crop consulting business that aided growers and companies internationally and became known as “blueberry school.”
Professional accolades aside, Strik was a benevolent, generous bright light to the blueberry industry and all who knew her. “Our industry has lost a great leader, mentor and friend,” shared Kasey Cronquist, president of USHBC and NABC. “Bernadine has made an indelible mark on what the blueberry industry is today, and her legacy of innovation, research and passion will impact generations of blueberry growers to come.”
In addition to being receiving NABC’s Duke Galletta Award for excellence in horticultural research, Strik was elected a Fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Science (2007) and the International Society for Horticultural Science (2021), their highest honors, and received the OSU Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award (2014) and the Chad Finn Ambassador Award from the American Pomological Society (2021). She was a true legend and champion of the blueberry industry, and she will be greatly missed.