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Fall Creek Farm & Nursery hires Burgert Van Dyk

Burgert Van Dyk has joined Fall Creek Farm & Nursery Inc. as regional director for South Africa, responsible for building the Fall Creek business in the region.  Under his supervision, Fall Creek will establish a new nursery in South Africa and recruit staff necessary to operate it and develop strong relationships with the company’s blueberry nursery and genetics customers in the region. FALL-CREEK-Burgert-van-Dyk---RSA-Regional-Dir-c2019-allrightsreserved-v2

Van Dyk will oversee the implementation and administration of new genetics licensing programs, and build the regional customer service, sales and grower support team.  Based outside of Cape Town, he reports to President and Chief Operating Officer Oscar Verges.

With 25 years of experience in the agriculture industry Van Dyk is an expert in plant variety intellectual property rights. Most recently, he was general manager of operations, procurement and intellectual property at the South African Plant Improvement Organization (now SAPO Trust), where he started as a cultivar specialist. He began his professional career at the Nietvoorbij Institute for Viticulture and Oenology (now Agriculture Research Institute) in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

“We are thrilled to have Burgert join Fall Creek in this leadership position," said Verges. "He has intimate knowledge of the nursery and genetics industry in Southern Africa where he’s been introducing new varieties for many years.  He understands the needs of growers in the region and is uniquely qualified and experienced to facilitate the rapid introduction of Fall Creek's new blueberry genetics, technical support services, and commercialization models into the region.”

“Fall Creek offered the professional challenge I was ready for,” said Van Dyk. “My initial focus goes to build the team of exceptional professionals that will serve the needs of some of the most informed growers in the world.  I’m really looking forward to bringing Fall Creek’s new, more open model and superior blueberry genetics to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and other neighbouring countries where there are a lot of opportunities for economic development.”

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and raised in the Western Cape town of the Strand, Van Dyk earned a bachelor’s degree in viticulture and oenology, a master’s degree in viticulture, and an honors degree in business management and administration from the University of Stellenbosch. He has been a guest speaker on intellectual property rights and related topics at the Swedish University of Agricultural Science and the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China.

Van Dyk also is the head technical expert on fruit for CIOPORA (the International Community of Breeders of Asexually Reproduced Ornamental and Fruit Plants), acting as a liaison to the UPOV (International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants) technical workgroup on fruit.