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AGGA Awards Recognize Leadership

Annual reception of Alberta Greenhouse Growers Association pays tribute to growers and specialists known for their innovation and industry dedication

August 11, 2016  By Dr. Mohyuddin Mirza

September 2016 – A posthumous award was among those presented by the Alberta Greenhouse Growers Association last year during its annual awards reception during the Green Industry Show and Conference in Calgary.

The Herb Knodel award for Alberta greenhouse industry development was awarded posthumously to the family of Lyle Aleman who passed away in June 2015 in an automobile accident. This was a very emotional award presentation.

Lyle is fondly remembered for his commitment and dedication to the Alberta greenhouse crops industry and especially the Red Hat Co-Operative Ltd. As general manager he developed, initiated and completed many projects which promoted the consumption of fresh vegetables. His community involvement was also exemplary.


Stuart Hunt graduated from the greenhouse horticulture and technology program at Malaspina College in Nanaimo, British Columbia. After working at Scania Greenhouses in Langley, B.C., he moved to Alberta in 1989 and got his first job at Prairies Sun Greenhouses in Joffre and credits John Bouw for teaching and mentoring and helped him to become the grower that he is today. He worked with Oyen Greenhouses for several years and contributed his skills and knowledge to help make the greenhouse the second largest propagator in Alberta. In July 2013 he moved to Red Deer to work with Dentoom’s Greenhouses and then in October 2014 he started working for Kevin Wasenberg at Central Alberta Greenhouses.

The award reflects his dedication to helping other growers as well as his reputation as a very knowledgeable person with plugs and plants.

Dr. Kwesi Ampong-Nyarko is a scientist, researcher and advisor trained in plant sciences and technology of crop protection.

He gained his PhD degree in agricultural botany from University of Reading in England. He has worked in various capacities in Africa, Asia and North America. His work experience includes employment in renowned research institutes, the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines and The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Kenya.

He is a results oriented, high energy scientist with multi-disciplinary background and demonstrated expertise in crop production, insect science, weed science, on-farm experimentation, integrated pest management, organic farming, greenhouse crop production, environment and bioenergy, technology transfer, International Agriculture Development and urban agriculture.

His contributions to the Alberta greenhouse crops industry includes:

  • Research and implementation of IPM practices.
  • Evaluation of different organic fertilizers, including Nature’s Source, and their adoption by growers.
  • Greenhouse energy benchmarks in which energy use per kilogram of produce was developed.
  • Development of production and processing protocols with Rhodiola.
  • Several publications at the national and international level.

He retired in 2015.

Andrew Mans received the Vegetable Grower of the Year award.

Mans Organics is a family owned and operated farm. Henk and Rita Mans started the farm in 1994. Andrew and his wife Denise joined the farm in 2012. They became organic seven years ago, as they felt that it is a responsible way to produce safe and healthy food.

Last year was the sixth season for
onions, shallots and garlic. These vegetable crops are grown in rotation with alfalfa and wheat. In 2012 they began building their first greenhouse to grow tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. After spending close to a year building that greenhouse they started producing greenhouse crops in 2013.

Their farm and greenhouse are certified organic by the Global Organic Alliance (GOA). The GOA has scheduled inspections every year at a minimum, and unscheduled inspections can also occur. This is one of the first certified organic greenhouse growing vegetables and supplying to commercial channels.

This year’s Green Industry Show and Conference will be held Nov. 17-18 at the EXPO Centre at Northlands Park in Edmonton. The show is Alberta’s premier event for the landscape, greenhouse, nursery, garden centre, turf and tree care industry. The show hosts are Landscape Alberta and the Alberta Greenhouse Growers Association. The AGGA traditionally conducts its AGM – and awards program – during the show.

Dr. Mohyuddin Mirza is the newsletter editor and consultant with the AGGA.

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