Rosie Lerner Retires from Purdue University after 37 Years of Service! – Extension Master Gardener Program

Rosie Lerner Retires from Purdue University after 37 Years of Service!

Rosie Lerner, Purdue Consumer Horticulture Extension Specialist.

On December 31, 2020, Rosie Lerner, Purdue Consumer Horticulture Extension Specialist in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture will retire from Purdue after 37 years of service.

Rosie is a native of Illinois and earned an Associate of Applied Science Degree from North Dakota State University in flower shop and greenhouse management,

Paul Ransberger, Marion County EMG volunteer, John Orick , Purdue EMG State Coordinator, Pam Fisher, Purdue EMG Program Assistant, and Rosie Lerner at the 2019 Indiana State Fair Plant Info to Go booth!

a Bachelor of Science Degree from Iowa State University in horticulture, production and business management option, and a Master of Science Degree from The Ohio State University in horticulture.

Rosie Lerner assisting with the planting of a tree donated by Purdue EMG volunteers in 1990.

Rosie Lerner began her career in 1984 and trained the first Master Gardeners for the Purdue Master Gardener Program in Tippecanoe County in 1988. Rosie has led many study abroad training opportunities, contributed significantly with Mary Welch-Keesey to the writing and publishing of the new Purdue Master Gardener Manual, and has helped train thousands of Master Gardeners through intern trainings and continuing education opportunities. Rosie served as state coordinator for the Purdue Extension Master Gardener (EMG) Program from 1984 – 2003 and again from 2006-2013. In her role as Purdue Consumer Horticulture Extension Specialist, Rosie has continued to contribute significantly to the Purdue EMG Program by serving as a member on the Purdue EMG State Advisory Committee, helping to develop

Rosie teaching Tippecanoe County Master Gardeners during a 1988 training on Purdue’s campus.

and coordinate the Purdue Master Gardeners…Growing Through Leadership, assisting with revisions of the Purdue MG Manual and other program materials, and continuing to teach home gardening topics to audiences across Indiana.

Fred Whitford, Rosie Lerner, and John Orick at the Porter County Gardening Show sponsored by Porter County Master Gardeners.

Rosie has made other lasting impacts on Indiana residents in the area of home horticulture through her many excellent and informative articles and publications. Rosie has written monthly columns  that have become staples of the home gardening community. The “Yard and Garden News”,  “In the Grow”, and “Yard and Garden Calendar” are archived here: https://www.purdue.edu/hla/sites/yardandgarden/purdue-garden-articles/ for future enjoyment! Rosie was also a regular contributor to the award winning monthly e-newsletter, the “Purdue Landscape Report” and assisted the Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Lab with home garden related plant identification and problem diagnosis. She has written or co-written many home gardening publications and authored a book,  “Possum in the Pawpaw Tree: A Seasonal Guide to Midwestern Gardening” (Purdue Press, 1994).

As of December 13, 2020, Rosie’s Purdue Consumer Horticulture website had over 978,000 page views and her Purdue Plant ID Pal website racked up over 206,000 views! Likewise, her “Tips for First Time Gardeners” video series produced over 28,000 views during 2020! In 2020, Rosie also worked with a team of Extension Educators to launch “Get Growing with Purdue Extension”, a 7-week training for beginning gardeners. Visit this site https://puext.in/GetGrowingInfo for more information about the upcoming virtual pilot!

Rosie has also served as member of the Purdue Rainscaping Education Program core team to develop this two-day workshop teaching Indiana residents the importance of and how to install rain gardens in home or small-scale landscapes.

Rosie Lerner working the Plant Info to Go Booth at the 1986 Indiana Flower and Patio Show

Purdue Extension staff, Extension Master Gardener volunteers, and Indiana residents will miss Rosie dearly and are thankful for her many contributions to the Purdue EMG Program and the home horticulture community!

Thank you Rosie and congratulations on your retirement from Purdue University!

Rosie Lerner presenting the Coordinator of the Year Award to Purdue EMG Coordinator, Amy Thompson.

Beverly Shaw and Rosie Lerner, authors of Possum in the Pawpaw Tree!


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