Dr. Lorne Hepworth (left) at Saskatchewan Order of Merit ceremony
Dr. Lorne Hepworth (right) with Lieutenant Governor Russ Mirasty at the Saskatchewan Order of Merit ceremony in 2021. Photo credit: Brighten Creative Group.

WCVM alumnus named member of Order of Canada

Dr. Lorne Hepworth, a 1971 graduate of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) at the University of Saskatchewan, was named a member of the Order of Canada in recognition of his contributions to agriculture and research.

Hepworth was among 78 appointments that were announced by Mary Simon, Canada’s governor general, in December 2023.

Originally from southwestern Saskatchewan, Hepworth practised veterinary medicine for a decade 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 Saskatchewan's minister of agriculture. 

After leaving politics, Hepworth worked with the former Crop Protection Institute and Canadian Agra Group of Companies and helped to create CropLife Canada — the national plant science industry trade association. Hepworth retired in 2014 after serving as CropLife’s chief executive officer and president for 17 years.

Hepworth has served as chair of Genome Canada and the Global Institute for Food Security at the University of Saskatchewan and has been involved with numerous agriculture institutions and organizations at the national level. He was inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2017 and was invested into the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 2021.

Hepworth is among four members of the WCVM community to receive one of Canada's highest civilian honours. Dr. Frederick (Ted) Leighton (DVM'79), a WCVM graduate and professor emeritus, was appointed officer of the Order of Canada in 2021. Dr. David Waltner-Toews (DVM'78), a WCVM graduate and professor emeritus of the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) at University of Guelph, was appointed in 2022. Dr. Otto Radostits (DVM'59), an OVC graduate and a professor emeritus of the WCVM, was made a member of the Order of Canada in 2003.