Dr. Lorne Hepworth (right) with Lieutenant Governor Russ Mirasty. Photo credit: Brighten Creative Group.
Dr. Lorne Hepworth (right) with Lieutenant Governor Russ Mirasty. Photo credit: Brighten Creative Group.

WCVM alumnus earns Saskatchewan’s top award

Dr. Lorne Hepworth, a Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) alumnus, has received Saskatchewan’s highest honour.

Hepworth was invested into the Saskatchewan Order of Merit on Nov. 16, 2021, along with 15 other recipients who were named in 2020. Hepworth is recognized as a lifelong champion for the advancement of science and technology.

Raised on a farm near Assiniboia, Sask., Hepworth completed his veterinary degree at the WCVM in 1971. He practised in Weyburn, Sask., for 10 years before becoming a member of Saskatchewan’s Legislative Assembly 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. His passion for the value of science technologies and the industry has been widely recognized by government officials, politicians, regulators, academics and, importantly, farmers.

Hepworth retired in 2014 after serving as Crop Life Canada's president and CEO for 17 years. That same year, Hepworth was inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame. He has since served as chair of Genome Canada and as a founding board member and, subsequently, chair of the University of Saskatchewan’s Global Institute for Food Security. He is also board chair of the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario.

Throughout his career, Hepworth has been recognized as a leading spokesperson and supporter of science and technology in agriculture and the agri-food industry

Established in 1985, the Saskatchewan Order of Merit is a prestigious recognition of excellence, achievement and contributions to the social, cultural and economic well-being of the province and its residents. The Order recognizes individuals who have made their mark in such areas as the arts, agriculture, business and industry, community leadership, the occupations or professions, public service, research, and volunteer service. It takes precedence over all other provincial honours and awards.

The individuals invested this year will join 242 other citizens who have previously been invested into the Saskatchewan Order of Merit.

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