Multiple members of the University of Guelph community have been recognized for their contributions in their respective fields in appointments to the Order of Canada and Order of Ontario.  

Dr. Jeffrey Farber, adjunct professor in the Department of Food Science, was named to the Order of Canada alongside Dr. Lorne Hepworth, chair of the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO), part of the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, a collaboration between U of G and the Government of Ontario.  

“On behalf of the University of Guelph, I am delighted to see our faculty members, alumni and affiliates awarded with Canada’s highest honour,” says Dr. Charlotte Yates, president and vice-chancellor. “Their work has certainly Improved Life across Canada and beyond and I could not be prouder of them.” 

The Order of Canada, established in 1967, recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. 

“Congratulations to both Dr. Jeffrey Farber and Dr. Lorne Hepworth on this well-deserved recognition of their contributions to research and innovation in Canada’s agri-food sector,” says Dr. Rene Van Acker, interim vice-president (research).  

“It is a pleasure to see them both join the circle of U of G faculty, alumni and associates appointed to the Order of Canada.”

Dr. Jeffrey Farber

Dr. Jeff Farber smiles while posing for a photo
Dr. Jeff Farber

Farber is a food safety researcher who served for several years as a food science professor, director of U of G’s Centre for Research in Food Safety (CRIFS) and as head of the master’s in food safety and quality assurance

A food microbiologist and globally recognized expert on Listeria and Cronobacter bacteria, Farber worked for more than 30 years with Health Canada where he played a significant role in developing many of the agency’s food safety policies. 

“I share this great honour with all the colleagues and students that I have worked with over many years in government, agencies and organizations, academia and industry, both in Canada and globally,” Farber says.  

“I have been fortunate recently to be supervising some great master’s students working in the area of cell-based meats and precision fermentation,” he adds. “The time I spent as director of the Canadian Research Institute for Food Safety in the Department of Food Science was extremely enriching for me. I was able to work on very diverse research projects with some great colleagues.” 

In 2010, Farber was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award of the Public Service of Canada, while in 2012, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2023, he received the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) President’s Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his lifetime of professional achievements that have made a lasting impact on advancing food safety worldwide. 

Dr. Lorne Hepworth

Dr. Lorne Hepworth wears a suit and poses for a portrait
Dr. Lorne Hepworth

Hepworth has served as ARIO chair since 2019 and has overseen significant infrastructure investments that leverage U of G expertise to fuel research and innovation for Ontario’s agri-food sector.  

The Ontario Beef Research Centre, which opened in 2019, and the Ontario Swine Research Centre, which opened in 2023, are owned by ARIO and managed by U of G.  

Hepworth, a retired veterinarian, served as minister of agriculture, education, finance, and energy and mines during nine years in cabinet as a Saskatchewan MLA. In 2012 he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and in 2014, was inducted to the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame. 

Dr. Betsy McGregor, a graduate of the Ontario Veterinary College, also recently accepted her Order of Canada at an investiture ceremony this past fall. McGregor, who was named in 2022 as a U of G Alumnus of Honour, was honoured with the Order of Canada for her work championing gender analysis, diversity and ethics in science and and her commitment to nurturing Canada’s next generation of health leaders.

Alumni and friends

Other U of G alumni recently recognized with the Order of Ontario include:

  • Dr. Gervan Fearon (BSc (Agr) ’81; MSc, 1984), former president and vice-chancellor at Brock University, Brandon University and currently president of George Brown College
  • Marva Wisdom (MA, 2007), a prominent equity and leadership practitioner and founding chair of the Guelph Black Heritage Society
  • Dr. Lee Errett (BA, 1972), former chief of cardiac surgery at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto
  • Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes (BASc, 1978), former president and chief executive officer of Georgian College

As well, Indigenous knowledge keeper Richard Hill Sr. received an honorary appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada for his his efforts to recover and restore Haudenosaunee artefacts and ways of living. Hill received an honorary degree from U of G in 2016 for preserving and sharing Indigenous knowledge with schools across Ontario, including U of G.