About BCHGA - BC Hazelnut Growers Association
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Our Purpose

The BC Hazelnut Growers Association (BCHGA) exists to promote the improvement and expansion of BC’s hazelnut industry, and to support BC hazelnut growers, as well as nurseries, researchers, extension specialists, and suppliers. We believe that hazelnuts are a terrific crop for BC, and can once again be a thriving part of agriculture in the province.

The BCHGA works with industry partners to conduct research into variety trials, and promotes awareness of the crop through education and advertising. In addition, we explore opportunities at the provincial and federal level for funding to assist with our activities.

Young tree in orchard

Who We Are

The BCHGA is incorporated as a BC Non-Profit Society, comprised of a membership base who elects a volunteer Board of Directors at each year’s Annual General Meeting.

BCHGA Current Board of Directors:
BCHGA Director - Steve hope

Steve Hope – President, BCHGA

Steve has been involved in the hazelnut industry since 2014 as a grower and co-owner of Fraser Valley Hazelnuts. He has served on the board of the BCHGA since 2018. Steve is excited to be a part of the reemergence of the BC hazelnut industry, and committed to assist in its development.

Location: Chilliwack
Email: steve@fraservalleyhazelnuts.com
Phone: 604-217-8880

BCHGA Director - Zachary Fleming

Zachary Fleming – Vice President, BCHGA

Zachary Fleming is an Articling Agrologist who has been serving on the BC Hazelnut Grower’s Association board since 2019. Since getting involved in the re-emerging hazelnut industry, he has strived to support new and existing growers by empowering on-farm decision making through data collection, and field based services.

Location: Chilliwack
Email: zach@pcagriculture.ca
Phone: 604-798-2798

BCHGA Director - Cornel Van Maren

Cornel Van Maren – Secretary Treasurer, BCHGA

Cornel Van Maren has been serving on the BCHGA board since 2018 as the secretary-treasurer. He operates Van Maren Farms, which includes 45 acres of hazelnuts planted from 2017-2021. He is looking forward to being a part of the redevelopment of the hazelnut industry in British Columbia.

Location: Chilliwack
Email: cornelvm@live.ca
Phone: 604-798-2320

BCHGA Director - Thom O'Dell

Thom O’Dell – Director at Large, BCHGA

Thom O’Dell has been supporting the hazelnut industry in BC by growing trees for new orchards since 2010 at Nature Tech Nursery, which he runs with his partner, Haley Argen. He has been on the board of the BC Hazelnut Grower’s Association since 2014 and was science advisor for their trial of new cultivars that concluded in 2017. He has a Ph.D. in Botany and Plant Pathology from Oregon State University and is a Professional Agrologist.

Location: Vancouver Island
Email: thom.odell@gmail.com

BCHGA Director - Kevin Hooge

Kevin Hooge – Director at Large, BCHGA

Kevin Hooge is one of the owners of Fraser Valley Hazelnuts. FVH is a family owned and operated company and is a washing, drying and further processing facility in Greendale B.C. He has been serving on the BC hazelnut growers board since 2017. He is excited to be involved in the renewal of this industry and believes it has a bright future!

Location: Chilliwack
Email: kevin@fraservalleyhazelnuts.com
Phone: 604-997-7811

Walter Esau – Director at Large, BCHGA

Walter studied agriculture at UBC for one year and has been an active realtor since 1971 both in sales of Agriculture property, real estate sales, and development work. Originally started as a dairy farmer, he has been a part of many industries including beef, poultry, and hazelnuts. Replanted their hazelnut orchard with new EFB resistant varieties between 2011 to 2016. Walter has served on various community boards and associations including the Chilliwack Agricultural commission and the BC Hazelnut Growers, and he sees a very positive and rewarding future for anyone involved in the industry.

Location: Chilliwack
Email: walter@royallepage.ca

Ryan Holling – Director at Large, BCHGA

Location: Abbotsford
Email: ryan.holling@fcc-fac.ca

Neil teBrinke – Director at Large, BCHGA

Location: Agassiz
Email: nealtb@hotmail.com

Greg Reid – Director at Large, BCHGA

Location: Chilliwack
Email: greid23@shaw.ca

Further reading:

We’re here to help!

Learn more about becoming a member of the BCHGA and what it means to be a member.

BCHGA Membership

Partner Organizations

As an important part of the strategy to achieve our goals, the BCHGA partners with other organizations to provide opportunities for research and innovation, and to conduct variety trials.

University of the Fraser Valley

University of the Fraser Valley:

The BC Hazelnut Growers Association is fortunate to have partnered with the University of the Fraser Valley to support the hazelnut industry through collaboration, research, and education. Click here to read more about this partnership.

UFV Agriculture Centre of Excellence

UFV Agriculture Centre of Excellence:

The BC Hazelnut Growers Association is very grateful for the support of Garry Fehr, PhD, Director of the Agriculture Centre of Excellence, University of the Fraser Valley.

For more information about the University of the Fraser Valley’s Agriculture Centre of Excellence, please see:  https://www.ufv.ca/ace/

Abbotsford Community Foundation

Abbotsford Community Foundation:

The Abbotsford Community Foundation and City of Abbotsford awarded the BC Hazelnut Growers Association a 2016 Agricultural Enhancement Grant. BCHGA is very thankful for this funding and the opportunity to work on a crop innovation project, in partnership with Holster Farm and with the continued support of the University of the Fraser Valley. More details about this project here!

BC Ministry of Agriculture

BC Ministry of Agriculture:

The BC Hazelnut Growers Association is thankful for the support of the BC Ministry of Agriculture for providing funding, through the 2016-2017 provincial finance budget consultations, to support BCHGA’s efforts.

BCHGA Upcoming EventsUpcoming Events

The BC Hazelnut Growers Association holds regular events throughout the year. Keep in the loop with our Events Listing >

BCHGA VideosField Day Videos

As BCHGA’s 2020 Field Day pivoted to a virtual format this year, we developed a video library of the information sessions. Explore the videos here >