2012 Hall of Fame Award Recipient
This year’s WGIF Hall of Fame award recipient is Dr. Louis M. Berninger. Dr. Berninger is an Emeritus Professor of Horticulture and University Extension. He was a professor of horticul-ture for thirty years at UW-Madison and an extension floricultural specialist.
Dr. Berninger received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in horticulture from Michigan State University, and then earned a Ph.D. in horticulture and marketing from UW-Madison. Dr. Berninger wrote many marketing articles for the national press examining industry issues such as uniform grades and standards for floral products, a subject of his research.
Through the UW Cooperative Extension Service, he organized programs for growers and home gardeners throughout the state. He developed a statewide Future Farmers of America (FFA) floriculture judging contest that produced a national winner in 1974, and was the national president of the ornamental and floriculture honorary society, Pi Alpha Xi. He guided the development of the Madison and Milwaukee horticultural re-search gardens, including obtaining seed or cuttings from national companies, advancing awareness and interest in horticultural crops. Lou received many awards for his innovation and teaching, and saw numerous changes in the industry during his many years at UW-Madison.
He fostered personal relationships through his frequent visits, to greenhouses and garden centers all over the state to help them with growing and marketing, to assess horticultural plant problems before the UW disease and insect diagnostic centers were created, and with national figures in the Horticulture field.
Currently a resident of Florida, Dr. Berninger maintains his link with UW-Madison as President of the Sarasota-Manatee Chapter of the Wisconsin Alumni Association.
Congratulations, Dr. Berninger, and thank you for your insight and for your far-reaching contributions to the state’s Green industry!