2019 AHPA Awards

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) presented its 2019 awards to individuals and an organization that have made significant contributions to the continued success of the herbal products industry at AHPA's Annual Member meeting on March 6 at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, CA.

2019 AHPA Awards Recipients

  • Herbal Hero Award: Steven Yeager, Mountain Rose Herbs

  • Herbal Industry Leadership Award: Oregon’s Wild Harvest

  • Herbal Insight Award: Kelly Kindscher, Ph.D., University of Kansas

  • Industry Pioneer Award: Sara Katz, Herb Pharm

  • Super Natural Award: Mark Blumenthal, American Botanical Council

Established in 2006, the annual AHPA Awards acknowledge individuals and organizations that help further AHPA's goal of promoting the responsible commerce of herbs and herbal products.

"Every year, AHPA recognizes the hard work and dedication of individuals and organizations that go above and beyond to ensure the continued success of the herbal industry. AHPA and the entire herbal products industry have greatly benefited from their expertise and passion for herbs," said AHPA President Michael McGuffin. "These awards are a small token of our gratitude for their tireless efforts."


Herbal Hero

Steven Yeager, the Quality Director at Mountain Rose Herbs, was presented the Herbal Hero Award by Roy Upton. Yeager is a long-time supporter of AHPA, serving as a member of the Board of Trustees and contributor to countless committees and working groups. He has also served as a faculty member at AHPA workshops.

“Steven is always a willing to work cooperatively for the greater good of the entire community,” Upton said. “AHPA and the broader herbal industry have long benefited from Steven’s expertise, which he provides generously.”


Industry Leadership

Oregon’s Wild Harvest (OWH) was presented the Industry Leadership Award by Steven Dentali, Ph.D., for setting an example of outstanding business practices and working to move the industry forward above and beyond normal business practices. OWH celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2019 and continues to evolve as a family-owned and -operated business. Randy Buresh, R.N. and Pam Martin-Buresh founded the company in 1994 and led the business with their head and heart, operating the company with practices that sustain the planet and the future generation of people who live here.

The company’s mission is, to heal people and the planet by producing pure, potent herbal supplements, and this is reflected in their farming, testing and production practices, which go above and beyond industry standards.  As organic and biodynamic farmers, the company is deeply connected to the soil, plants, pollinators and the environment. Producing herbal supplements is more than a business for this company. It’s a way to demonstrate deep respect for the earth, diversity and ecological balance.


Herbal Insight

Kelly Kindscher, Ph.D., from the University of Kansas was presented the Herbal Insight Award by Daniel Gagnon for his significant impact on furthering knowledge and understanding of botanicals and their uses. Kelly is best known as a passionate advocate for native plants, native landscapes and wild places. His research is focused on native prairies, prairie plants and plant communities. He is a conservationist, teacher, mentor and environmental problem solver, and the author of books on edible and medicinal plants.

Working with the AHPA ERB Foundation, he has helped increase industry and regulators’ understanding of sustainable harvest of wild osha and co-authored the Harvest Sustainability Study of Wild Populations of Osha, Ligusticum porteri.

His current primary responsibilities are as a plant ecologist for the Kansas Biological Survey and in the Environmental Studies Program, where he furthers his research agenda, mentors students and has taught a variety of classes, including Ethnobotany and the program’s Capstone course, formerly known as Environmental Impact Assessment.



Four decades after she co-founded Herb Pharm, Sara Katz is being honored as a thought leader and influential voice in the herbal community. Known as an herbal pioneer, Sara was not only instrumental in establishing Herb Pharm’s reputation and success, but she was also an early supporter of United Plant Savers and a devoted teacher, as part of our Herb Pharm's one-of-a-kind, experiential herbal internship program.

Sara became a key figure in the “herbal renaissance.” Though she co-founded what is now one of the oldest and most respected herbal products companies in the country, herbal education and plant conservation have become her life’s work.

She was United Plant Savers (UpS) board president for a decade and continues to serve in an advisory role. She and Herb Pharm co-founder Ed Smith also created a UpS Botanical Sanctuary on the farm. That work also informed the curriculum of the Herb Pharm Herbaculture Internship Program, which she calls one of her greatest achievements.

Sara is also actively involved in the library system in Josephine County, Oregon, where Herb Pharm is located and which she still calls home. She brings the same grounded balance to her work there, just as she does in the herbal community.


Super Natural

American Botanical Council (ABC) Founder Mark Blumenthal was presented the special Super Natural award by Mark Plotkin, Ph.D., for creating and promoting positive information about herbal ingredients for more than 40 years. With more than 43 years of diverse experience as an herbal advocate, consultant, educator, researcher, writer, and advisor, Mark has an extensive comprehensive background in the area of herbs and medicinal plants. Since 1988, he has been an educator and researcher in his role as Executive Director of the non profit ABC.