Forest grew up on a small farm near Granite Falls, Minn., where he graduated from high school. He went on to earn a B.S. from the University of Minnesota in agricultural education, and graduate degrees in adult education from Colorado State University and the University of Wisconsin. Forest served as a county extension agent in Washington and Rock Counties, Minn. He then worked for 24 years as a faculty member in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences’ Department of Continuing and Vocational Education (CAVE).
Together with his wife Betty and their family, Laverne realized his dream of returning to farming by starting Eplegaarden in 1985 with the planting of the first 1000 trees on a lovely hillside farm in Fitchburg. Six years and 6000 trees later, the orchard opened to the public in 1991. Eplegaarden has become a beloved destination for thousands of Madison area families.
For more on Forest’s life, please read his madison.com obituary.