Article written by: Mitch Huttema, Video & Communications Specialist, UFV Today
UFV Distinguished Alumni 2023: Blue skies ahead for Eric Gerbrandt
Dedicated to creating and caring for a better berry, Dr. Eric Gerbrandt’s research takes him from the fields of his Yarrow farm to labs and conferences around the world.
For this and more, Eric has been named UFV’s Distinguished Alumni Award winner for 2023.
Eric has been leading the BC berry research portfolio as Research Director with the BC Blueberry Council, Raspberry Industry Development Council, and BC Strawberry Grower’s Association since 2018, while owning and operating Sky Blue Horticulture — his living laboratory for developing the most efficient production practices and identifying the most desirable fruits possible through horticultural research and variety trials.
“The best part about my research is that it’s edible,” he says, kneeling beside one of his laden bushes while performing a daily inspection of the many exploratory strains he grows for experimental trials.
With deep roots in UFV’s Agriculture Technology department, Eric started his relationship with UFV when it was still known as UCFV and was among the first graduates of the newly named UFV in 2009. He was the convocation speaker for his class, winning NSERC’s Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship which launched his degree at the University of Saskatchewan, where he was named an esteemed NSERC Vanier Scholar.