seal  Purdue News

October 27, 2003

Consumer horticulture specialist honored with Sharvelle Award

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - B. Rosie Lerner, a Purdue University Extension consumer horticulture specialist, received the 2003 Eric G. Sharvelle Distinguished Extension Specialist Award.

Lerner was honored during the annual Purdue Extension Development Conference banquet on Tuesday (10/21) for her work in consumer horticulture throughout the state.

David Petritz, Purdue Extension director, said, "Rosie's programs give Purdue Extension high visibility in both the agriculture and non-agriculture sectors of the state."

Under her leadership the Indiana Master Gardeners program grew from 10 county programs in 1984 to more than 70 county and multicounty programs today. More than 3,250 Master Gardeners have been trained, resulting in more than 162,500 volunteer hours in county offices around the state.

Lerner also established one of the first, and most widely read, Web pages in the School of Agriculture. Her consumer horticulture Web site attracts almost 1.2 million visits each year. She has authored or co-authored nearly 1,000 Extension bulletins, newsletter articles, books and book chapters.

Lerner developed a "Beginners Guide to Vegetable Gardening" CD, which received the American Society for Horticulture Science Extension Materials Award in 2002 and the USDA honored her work with the Purdue Drought Response Team.

"She is a prolific author and provides her clientele with information on a wide range of topics in a variety of formats," Petritz said. "Her materials are well used. In excess of one quarter million copies of nearly 90 different horticulture Extension bulletins were downloaded last year."

Lerner joined Purdue Extension in 1984. She holds an associate of applied science degree from North Dakota State University, a bachelor's degree from Iowa State University and a master's degree from Ohio State University.

The Sharvelle Award is given each year in memory of Eric G. Sharvelle, a Purdue professor of botany and plant pathology from 1946 to 1975. The award was established in 1985 by Dr. Derek and Sybil Sharvelle of Battle Ground, Ind.

Writer: Kay Hagen, (765) 494-6682,

Source: David Petritz, (765) 494-8489,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,
Agriculture News Page

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: A publication-quality photograph of B. Rosie Lerner will be available today (Monday, 10/27) at

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