In March, USLGA introduced the “LIFT” Award.  LIFT stands for "Lavender Ideas for Tomorrow" and recognizes the contribution, innovation, influence and ideas of those in the lavender industry.  Kathy Gehrt was identified as the initial recipient and was presented with a framed award and letter.

Letter text:

The U.S. Lavender Growers Association presents the "LIFT" Award, "Lavender Ideas for Tomorrow", to Kathy Gehrt on March 26, 2014. The LIFT Award is given with deep appreciation to Kathy for writing, sharing, teaching, and contributing to the lavender industry.

The LIFT Award is given to those whose passion, actions, and innovations encourage and shape tomorrow. USLGA honors these pathfinders because they offer us something new, a better method, a new invention, an artful design, inspiration, and passionate advocacy. The LIFT Award acknowledges their significance, influence, and contribution.

Kathy Gehrt is the inspiration for this new award and is the first to receive it. Her love of lavender and new lavender recipes resulted in her popular lavender cookbook, Discover Cooking With Lavender. Kathy's creativity and delight in cooking with lavender come together in her lovely cookbook full of gorgeous photographs and delicious recipes. Kathy has inspired us to try new (and familiar!) lavender recipes and experiment with new ideas. Kathy is held as an expert in using culinary lavender and carried the exciting uses of lavender into wineries and other venues!

Kathy’s passion for lavender led her to travel the world and visit lavender farms from Hawaii to Australia. Her interest in cooking, teaching, and business studies led to her speaking at conferences, workshops, and festivals across the U.S. and Canada. Kathy is also a lavender ambassador and advocates for everyone to use lavender in new, and different ways, introducing them to expanded opportunities.

This award is given to acknowledge the work, the imagination, and most of all the inspiration from Kathy Gehrt who "lights the path" for lavender growers today and into the future.

What got you started with lavender?
“After retiring from an executive position in a Fortune 500 technology company, I discovered lavender, or – rather – it discovered me. A small garden plot I acquired boasted a huge lavender bush in one corner; when I went there to tend my garden, I noticed the vibrant color, the pungent fragrance, and bees buzzing around the lavender. I also loved cooking, , and I volunteered at a nearby cooking school where I met a chef. This chef had a talent for creative cooking, and she introduced me to cooking with lavender. My passion took off from there.”  - Kathy Gehrt in an interview with The Lavender Buzz