Arthur Douglas Latornell (1923-1991)

“Talk is relatively inexpensive. Action takes more real effort both of mind and of pocketbook, and is usually less noisy.” – Arthur Latornell

Arthur D. Latornell was a child of the Depression and World War II era and spent his formative years on his family farm near Meaford, Ontario. His journey led him to the Ontario Agriculture College (OAC) in 1946, at age 23, where he graduated in 1950. Following a brief stint as a fruit and vegetable inspector with the Department of Agriculture, Art pursued further education at Michigan State University, earning a Master’s in agricultural extension.

Returning to Ontario in 1953, Art embarked on a distinguished career as a Field Officer with the Conservation Branch of the Department of Planning and Development, marking the beginning of his impactful 24-year tenure with Ontario’s Conservation Authorities. Known for his forward-thinking approach and dedication to conservation, Art garnered respect both provincially and internationally.

In 1977, Art assumed the role of Deputy Regional Director with the Ministry of Natural Resources, a position he held until his retirement in 1988, culminating a remarkable 35-year career in public service. Active in various organizations such as the Agricultural Institute of Canada, the Canadian Nature Federation, and the Canadian Arctic Resources Commission, Art also held roles within professional associations like the Ontario Institute of Professional Agrologists and the Canadian Water Resources Association.

Throughout his career, Art’s influence extended beyond borders. He served on the SWCS National Council, held leadership positions within the International Society for Soil and Water Conservation, and chaired the editorial board of The Journal of Soil and Water Conservation.

Despite his numerous professional accolades, Art’s lasting impact was felt through his mentorship and guidance of students and colleagues. The Latornell Conservation Symposium has been a beneficiary of the A. D. Latornell Endowment Fund which the University of Guelph administers.