Lorne Hepworth has pushed boundaries, built consensus and pursued change. He’s a lifelong champion for the advancement of science and technology to help build a vibrant and progressive agriculture and food industry in Canada. And he’s harnessed his passion for agriculture to inspire legions of others to make a real difference in Canada and around the world.
Lorne’s first career was as a veterinarian. For 10 years, he owned and operated a veterinary practice in Weyburn, Saskatchewan. From these solid science roots, Lorne brought his commitment to agriculture and science to the political arena. He served his Weyburn constituency for nine years as a member of the Saskatchewan Legislature for the Progressive Conservatives. He held numerous high profile portfolios including Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Finance, Minister of Education and Advanced Education, and Minister of Energy and Mines.
Lorne’s next big move was into the crop protection industry – with the former Crop Protection Institute, Canadian Agra Group of Companies, and then his nearly 17-year tenure as president and CEO of CropLife Canada. It was during these years that Lorne arguably made his most profound and longest lasting impact on Canadian agriculture.
One of Lorne’s signature accomplishments was the formation of GrowCanada – a coalition of industry-leading agricultural value chain partners with a common goal to promote and advance innovation in Canada. Lorne saw the need for increased communication and action to ensure a prosperous, sustainable and competitive agricultural bio-economy for Canada.
Lorne was the mastermind and leader who made CropLife Canada – the national plant science industry trade association – one of the most respected agricultural industry organizations in the country. Lorne advocated relentlessly for strong, science-based regulations. He promoted the need for innovation and new technologies, and pushed for proactive, responsible stewardship throughout the life cycle of the plant science industry.
Lorne played a lead role in expanding the plant science industry’s self-directed stewardship initiatives. Programs, including obsolete pesticide and empty container recycling were promoted internationally by Lorne, and as a result have been emulated by many of Croplife Canada’s international sister organizations.
Lorne recently retired from CropLife Canada and is currently chair of Genome Canada – working to expose the potential the emerging field of genomics will have for agriculture. He’s been recognized with numerous awards including a Life Member of the Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association, The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Honorary Lifetime Membership Award in CropLife America and Life Member of CropLife Canada.
Lorne is one of the best known leaders in Canadian agriculture. His business, public sector and political experience in Canada, together with his practical approach to getting results, has made a tremendous and lasting difference in agriculture. Thank you, Lorne Hepworth.