Dr. Egerton Gibson Hood

Dr. Egerton Gibson Hood

1890 - 1953

A prolific dairy researcher Doctor Egerton Gibson Hood was born in 1890 in Milliken, York County. Dr. Hood attended the Ontario Agricultural College, graduating with his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 1913. Hood would always keep his ties with the O.A.C. eventually becoming the Vice-President of the school’s Alumni Association.

Dr. Hood spent the year after his graduation working, first for the Holstien-Friesian Association of Ontario and then for the Laurentian Milk Company in Caledonia, Ontario. In September of 1914 Dr. Hood enrolled in the University of Massachusetts for his post-graduate studies, eventually transferring to Yale University.

Prior to the completion of his degree, Dr. Hood returned to Canada to take up a lecturer position at the Macdonald College of McGill University. During the summer, Dr. Hood would sojourn to the maritime provinces to research his thesis on lobsters. He completed his PhD and then shortly after secured the position in which he would spend the rest of his life.

In the final months of 1923 Dr. Hood was hired as Chief of Dairy Research for the federal government in Ottawa. Dr. Hood conducted valuable research over the next 30 years. He made major breakthroughs on moulds and yeasts in creamery butter to address mould growth in international exports. He also contributed to addressing surface taint issues in butter, environmental effects on dairy products and defects in numerous elements of Canadian cheese.

Dr. Hood frequently attended dairy organization functions, delivering speeches and accumulating knowledge in conversations with local dairy farmers. Some of his higher profile appearances included the Manitoba Dairy Association’s Golden Jubilee and the 1928 World’s Diary Congress in London, England.

Dr. Hood was also an advocate for taking advantage of foreign innovations. He advocated for the New Zealand style storage that led to more sanitary dairy products. In 1946 Dr. Hood was one of the first to notice the potential of German Fritz method continuous butter machines, a discovery he quickly brought to the attention of Canadian butter makers.

Throughout his career, Dr. Hood served in several agricultural and scientific organizations. In addition to his Vice-Presidentship with the O.A.C. he also served the same role for the American Dairy Science Association. Dr. Hood received the organizations prestigious Borden award in 1948 for his work on surface taint and bleaches in butter. Dr. Hood was also a charter member of the Ottawa Bacteriological Club and a long-standing member of the Agricultural Institute of Canada.

Dr. Hood died in 1953. He was survived by his wife, Florence, and his three daughters. Dr. Hood’s work in improving Canadian dairy was of great value to the industry. Never willing to limit himself to scientific theories he constantly strived to spread innovations through speaking appearances, written publications and regular interaction with everyday Canadian dairymen.

Celebrating 150 Years of Canadian Agriculture