The Wisconsin Green Industry Federation Hall of Fame committee has selected Dr. Louis M. Berninger, emeritus professor of Horticulture and University Extension, as its selection for 2012.
A professor of horticulture for 30 years at UW-Madison and an extension floricultural specialist, he received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in horticulture from Michigan State University. He then earned a Ph.D. in horticulture and marketing from UW-Madison.
In 1964, he developed the Garden Almanac,” a weekly television series broadcast throughout the Midwest. He also organized one of the first Educational Teleconference Network programs held in the state, and 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, and 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 research gardens, including obtaining seed or cuttings from national companies, advancing awareness and interest in horticultural crops. While at the University, all of the educational meetings for greenhouse, garden center and nursery personnel were planned and organized by Berninger. 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.