Jerry Apps has a PhD degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Education. He worked for the University of Wisconsin for thirty-eight years in varying roles, from county extension agent to tenured professor. He is a Wisconsin Academy Fellow and past director of the National Center for Extension Leadership Development. In addition to his many books on rural history, he has written eleven books on continuing and higher education. Jerry and his wife, Ruth, split their time between their home in Madison and their farm in central Wisconsin.