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Dr. David Chalack (WCVM ’75). Photo by Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame.

Ag industry honours WCVM alumni

Two western Canadian veterinarians recently earned their places in the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame, and their portraits now hang with other members of the country's "agricultural royalty."

Dr. David Chalack, who graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) in 1975, was inducted in 2011. The most recent inductee was Dr. Lorne Hepworth (WCVM '71) who earned his spot in the Hall of Fame in 2014.

Chalack and Hepworth are only two examples of WCVM alumni who have made significant contributions to the veterinary profession, animal health and society on local, national and international scales. Both gained particular attention for their exceptional achievements in agriculture.

Raised on a dairy farm near Calgary, Chalack is well known as a strong advocate for Canadian agriculture. After graduating from the WCVM, he spent 15 years as a partner at Moore & Company Veterinary Services in Balzac, Alta. Chalack then joined Alta Genetics in 1989 and tirelessly promoted Canadian cattle genetics around the world. He's also a partner in Rocky Mountain Holsteins, a farm that's internationally known for its breeding program and show-ring success.

Chalack has been a Calgary Stampede supporter for nearly four decades, and he served as the show's chair and president of the board from 2009-11. During this time, he implemented a new animal welfare policy that includes independent review and public engagement.

Hepworth is recognized as a lifelong champion for the advancement of science and technology. After receiving his veterinary degree, he practised in Weyburn, Sask., for 10 years before becoming a member of the Saskatchewan Legislature for the Progressive Conservative party. Hepworth spent nine years in provincial politics and held several portfolios including Minister of Agriculture.

Hepworth's next move took him to the crop protection industry where he worked with the former Crop Protection Institute and Canadian Agra Group of Companies. He played a key role in creating CropLife Canada — the national plant science industry trade association. After serving as Crop Life Canada's president and CEO for 17 years, Hepworth recently retired and became chair of Genome Canada.

The WCVM is proud to have Chalack and Hepworth as part of the college's alumni family. Their extraordinary contributions to Canadian agriculture will hopefully inspire the next generation of WCVM graduates to make a difference through their own careers.

Visit www.usask.ca/wcvm/fifty-years
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