About Arthur D. Latornell

Arthur D. LatornellAs a child of the Depression and World War II, Arthur D. Latornell remained on his family farm near Meaford, Ontario until he was able to enter the Ontario Agriculture College in 1946, at the age of 23. He graduated from the OAC in 1950 and for two years was employed by the Department of Agriculture as a fruit and vegetable inspector. Art was always a keen student, so he made a decision to enroll at Michigan State University for a Master’s degree in agricultural extension. In 1953 Art returned to Ontario and was hired as a Field Officer with the Conservation Branch of the Department of Planning & Development. Thus began Art’s storied and influential career with Ontario’s conservation authorities program, with spanned 24 years. Art was known and respected throughout the Province and indeed internationally, as a forward thinker and respected conservationist. In 1977, Art became Deputy Regional Director with the Ministry of Natural Resources, a position he held until 1988, when he retired, culminating a career in public service in excess of 35 years.

Art was also an active member of the Agricultural Institute of Canada, the Canadian Nature Federation and the Canadian Arctic Resources Commission. In addition to being a Professional Agrologist (P.Ag.) and a charter member in the Ontario Institute of Professional Agrologists, he acted as the Ontario director for the Canadian Water Resources Association. From 1967‑1973 Art was a director and member of the Federation of Ontario Naturalists and also served on several committees of the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) at the provincial and international levels and became the president and secretary of the Ontario chapter.

However, Art’s accomplishments did not stop there. He served as a Canadian member of the SWCS National Council for two terms and was the vice-president and later the first Canadian president of the International Society for Soil and Water Conservation. Later he chaired the editorial board for the SWCS’s journal, The Journal of Soil and Water Conservation.

Despite Art’s numerous professional achievements, many would argue that Art had his greatest impact through his influence and teaching of students and colleagues.

Art’s legacy is a network of people still working in conservation, originally hired and encouraged by him and entrusted with a certain approach and philosophy. Art helped so many people.
M. Bradstreet
He influenced many young people and inculcated in them his value system and belief in the value of conservation. He made sure people got recognition for their accomplishments.
D. Hunter

At the time of his death in 1991, Art had acquired an estate of greater than two million dollars, primarily through partnership in a major Ontario sod company. Art made a bequest of the majority of that estate to the University of Guelph, where it generates up to $125,000 annually.

Arthur D. Latornell Once Stated:

“It is my wish that the fund to be used to assist young people in their learning endeavors related to natural resource activities. In particular, I would wish that this fund would be used to assist young people in obtaining a University education, whether or not such education leads to a University degree, to enable students to attend conferences or courses offered by educational institutions or groups associated with the University of Guelph and to enable the student exchanges and similar educational programs related to natural resources.”

Arthur D. Latornell

The Arthur D. Latornell Endowment Fund Currently Supports:

  • Annual Latornell Symposium
  • Latornell Field College
  • Latornell Scholarships
  • Latornell Travel Awards
  • Latornell Continuing Education Grants
  • Latornell Visiting Lecturers

Thousands of students will continue to benefit from Art Latornell’s generous gift in the years to come.

Further Resources:

Booth, A. 1998. Arthur Douglas Latornell: A Biography. University of Guelph: Guelph, Ont. Canada.

Mitchell, B., and D. Shrubsole. 1992. Ontario Conservation Authorities: Myth and Reality. University of Waterloo: Waterloo, Ont. Canada.

Richardson, Arthur Herbert. 1974. Conservation by the People: The History of the Conservation Movement in Ontario to 1970. University of Toronto Press: Toronto, Ont. Canada.

The Latornell Logo

The A.D. Latornell logo was designed to represent the significant aspects of Art Latornell’s life and legacy.

The logo is a silhouette of an ancient tree, which represents the conservation of natural resources and Art’s long-standing interest in the natural world.

When viewed in the negative however, the white areas formed by the trunk contain the profiles of two people, a young student and an older man, with their heads lowered as if studying something on the ground. This view of the logo represents Art’s belief in the importance of mentoring and teaching which he practiced in his lifetime and which continues through his bequest in the Latornell Programs. Latornell LogoIn celebration of its 20th anniversary, the Symposium unveiled a new logo. While adopting a more modern look and colours, the logo still maintains the previous tree symbol which represents the conservation of our natural resources. Latornell Conservation Symposium Logo

Video Retrospective

This video was produced by Conservation Ontario and the University of Guelph, in partnership with Allset Inc. and Double Zero Films.