Willo Sterritt Forrester was born on the home farm near Emerson on June 14, 1901. He received his education locally and took over the family farm in 1922. In 1924, he married Marjorie Lovering, raising five children, one of whom still farms the original family farm.
Forrester was among the first producers of special crops such as sunflowers, sugar beets and triticale in southern Manitoba. He was also one of the first farmers in Manitoba to recognize the potential of the Holstein breed of dairy cow, beginning his herd in 1938 and providing breeding stock for others.
Though very busy with his farm, Forrester served his community and province in many capacities: on the Post Road School Board as secretary treasurer for 20 years and Boundary School Division, 1966 to 1973; as a member of the Education Advisory Board of Manitoba and the Manitoba Association of School Trustees; on the Board of Regents of the University of Winnipeg; 37 years as counselor for Ward 1 of the Rural Municipality of Montcalm, seeing roads graded and graveled and dikes built to protect those in the flood prone district; on the board of Co-op Vegetables Oils in Altona to facilitate processing and marketing of oilseeds; on the Manitoba Federation of Agriculture, Conferences of Farm Organization leading to formation of the Manitoba Farm Bureau, as founding chairman; as a director of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture; on the board of Manitoba Sugar Beet Producers Association, advocating for formulation of Canadian sugar policy; on the board of Emerson and Altona hospitals. He was an adherent to the United Church. He holds a deep respect for the many ethnic groups in the province.
Forrester’s characteristics of forthrightness, integrity and dedication to his community and Canadian agriculture have been recognized by many.