Greenhouse Canada

Grower Day 2023 was one for the books

A day of networking, learning and celebrating accomplishments.

October 20, 2023  By Greenhouse Canada

From left: Rodney Bierhuizen of Sunrise Greenhouses and Greenhouse Canada’s Grower of the Year for 2023; Trevor Goulding, CEO and founder of Gold Leaf Technologies, Top 40 Under 40 recipient; Greenhouse Canada editor, Amy Kouniakis; and Isaak Fast, Head Grower at Pure Flavor Farms and Top 4 Under 40 recipient.

Attended by close to 80 growers and featuring a sold-out trade show floor, Greenhouse Canada’s 28th Annual Grower Day was a resounding success.

Held on June 20, at the Holiday Inn & Suites Conference Centre in St. Catharine’s, Ont., the day was filled with enlightening presentations and discussions on all things related to greenhouse production and operations.

Rita Sterne, Project Manager of Greenhouse Technology Network (GTN) moderated the day and kicked off the event by offering attendees a glimpse of the work being done by the GTN. GTN is a Niagara College-led consortium of academic research institutions supporting the research needs of greenhouse and related technology businesses through applied projects.


The first speaker of the day was David Llewellyn, Research Associate from University of Guelph who spoke extensively on greenhouse lighting, particularly developments in lighting of ornamental crops.

Llewellyn was followed by Ruud Roeleveld, president of R3&A Ltd., a Cobourg, Ont.-based firm dedicated to providing surge protection solutions. The presentation offered some valuable insights on how modern greenhouse operations need to secure their production processes from surges and power outages.

Next up, Adam Greenberg, CEO of Seattle-based IUNU, led an engaging discussion on how technology and artificial intelligence can generate significant ROI while streamlining processes.

The final presentation of the morning featured Dean Anderson of Workplace Safety & Prevention Services who spoke on the importance of greenhouse operations having a robust health and safety program.

Hear from industry experts, share best practices, network with colleagues and see the latest innovation in products and services – all designed to help grow your commercial cultivation business.

After the lunch break, where the audience enjoyed a delicious buffet lunch, attendees heard from Dr. Fadi Al-Daoud from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) about the pros and cons of Carbon Dioxide enrichment in Controlled Environment Agriculture.

Jacob Basso, M.Sc., Researcher, University of Guelph, shared the latest on his research on the sterile insect technique is an alternative pest management tool. His fascinating work generated quite a lively discussion about IPM and best practices.

Guests then had the opportunity to explore novel media amendments. Christine George, Research Lead, Research & Innovation for the Horticultural & Environmental Sciences Innovation Centre (HESIC) offered a comprehensive summary of research into media amendments and their promise in potentially reducing fertilizer usage without compromising crop yields.

The final presentation of the day was delivered by Dr. Rose Buitenhuis of Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. Her focus was on exploring whether or not biostimulants have a role to play in floriculture and if so, what would that look like.

Once presentations wrapped up later in the afternoon, Greenhouse Canada’s Top 4 Under 40 awards were handed out to four very deserving individuals. The award seeks to honour the work of the best and brightest in greenhouse horticulture and allied trades. This year’s winners include: Trevor Golding, CEO and founder of Gold Leaf Technologies; Britney Hawkins, Senior Manager, Sales Planning at Mastronardi Produce Ltd.; Rob Wein Jr., co-owner Clearview Horticultural Products Inc.; and Isaak Fast, head grower at Pure Flavor Farms.

Greenhouse Canada’s 2023 Grower of the Year, Sunrise Greenhouse’s Rodney Bierhuizen, was also celebrated at this year’s Grower Day event. Those who nominated Rodney praised his integrity and passion for innovation, as well as his dedication to helping support the younger generation of greenhouse operators.

Greenhouse Canada thanks our sponsors for making this event possible, including Paul Boers Manufacturing, Prins Greenhouses, Ball Seed, and Phillips.

Mark your calendars for Grower Day 2024, taking place on June 18, 2024 in St. Catharines, Ont.

Check out our photo gallery below!

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