Blueberry industry mourns Bernardine Strik
April 19, 2023

Veteran horticulture professor, researcher and berry crop specialist Bernardine Strik passed away recently after over 30 years of ground-breaking industry innovation.

Through her innovative research and trials, Strik helped transform the way in which blueberries are grown today.

This included improving yield through closer plantings, the use of trellises, and mulch to enhance nutrient management.

“Having personally worked with Bernardine Strik on many occasions over the past three decades, one can only outline Bernadine’s foresight, vision and R&D programs that brought about positive change to berry production outcomes across the globe,” said IBO President Peter McPherson.

The executive praised Strik’s industry contribution, saying “she was truly a dynamic leader in her field. On behalf of berry growers globally we send our deepest condolences to her husband Neil and her two daughters and families''.

Bernadine Strik authored and co-authored more than 150 articles, many published in peer-reviewed research journals and others intended for members of the berry industry. 

She served on the executive board of the International Society for Horticultural Science and researched numerous berry crops, seeking to improve machine harvest efficiencies, fresh market production, and developing organic systems.

Strik received the Outstanding Leader in the Blueberry Industry Award from the Oregon Blueberry Growers Association in 2003 for her development of the high-density plant spacing method, which greatly increased yields.