2007 Dr. Gordon Surgeoner, BSc '71, MSc '73 | Alumni | University of Guelph

2007 Dr. Gordon Surgeoner, BSc '71, MSc '73

Judy Maddren

Dr. Gordon Surgeoner
BSc '71, MSc '73

Dedicated leader is perhaps the best way to describe Gordon Surgeoner. During his 30-year career, he has worked tirelessly to promote initiatives and champion causes that he believes are important to the well-being of the province of Ontario and its citizens. He has become a leader for the agri-food industry, an avid proponent for education and a distinguished ambassador for the University of Guelph.

After completing his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 1971, Dr. Surgeoner went on to obtain a Master’s degree in Economic Entomology in 1973, also from Guelph and a PhD in Forest Entomology in 1976 from Michigan State University. Dr. Surgeoner became an esteemed professor at the University of Guelph in Environmental Biology and Plant Agriculture, where he remained on faculty until his retirement in 2004. As a professor, Dr. Surgeoner was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award of the Ontario Agricultural College Alumni Association in 1989. Five years later, he was also awarded the T.R. Hilliard Award, which is presented to an individual who has made a notable contribution to agricultural extension in the Province of Ontario.

Dr. Surgeoner continues to be an advocate and leader for Canadian agriculture and is now President of Ontario Agri-Food Technologies. As one of its creators, he is committed to providing leadership on the development and use of advanced technology for agriculture and food production in Ontario. Under his leadership, OAFT has become the primary organization in Ontario for the advancement of agri-food technological issues. Furthermore, he has been involved in many other agricultural and environmental initiatives, including acting as Policy Advisor to AGCare, whose initiatives led to the introduction of mandatory certification for the use of farm pesticides in Ontario. Dr. Surgeoner and AGCare played a critical role in the Food Systems 2000 program of the Government of Ontario, by which pesticide usage in Ontario agriculture was reduced by 50% over a 15-year period.

In working with the Agricultural Adaptation Council and the Ontario Research and Development fund, Dr. Surgeoner has had major influence on the direction of research and development in the agricultural sector as well as in other sectors in the province. By collaborating with such groups as the Champagne, Picardie, Ardennes cluster in France and the State of Illinois/Province of Ontario Memoranda of Understanding, Dr. Surgeoner is elevating Ontario’s capacity for agricultural development to the global scale. For his significant contribution to Ontario’s agri-food sector, he was awarded the prestigious Order of Ontario by Lieutenant Governor James K. Bartleman in 2005.

Whether acting in his role as a professor or lending his expertise to community groups or government officials, Dr. Surgeoner has always remained proudly associated with the University of Guelph. It is with great pleasure that the University of Guelph Alumni Association named Dr. Gordon Surgeoner as Alumnus of Honour in 2007.


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