Ian Garnett was born in England and brought up in Vancouver, British Columbia. He obtained a BS in agriculture in 1968 and an MS in genetics in 1970 from the University of British Columbia. He was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship to study at the University of Edinburgh; in 1973 he received his PhD, studying under Professor Douglas Falconer.
After graduation he was a research scientist in swine breeding at Agriculture Canada in Brandon, Manitoba. Cargill, Ltd. recruited him in 1977. He held positions of increasing responsibility within that company over the next 13 years, serving as General Manager of the Swine Products Division for Midwestern United States from 1986-1990.
The Animal Science Department at UC Davis recruited Ian in 1990 to serve as director of the newly established professional Master's Degree program in Agriculture and Management (MAM) and as a senior lecturer in Animal Science. A genuine love of teaching and working with students and an unfailingly optimistic attitude led to outstanding achievements as an administrator and teacher at UCD. Graduates of the MAM program hold important positions in agriculture in California and elsewhere. In 1999 Ian was recognized as the Outstanding Faculty Advisor in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. He helped develop and teach several new courses that integrated a management component with production technologies and was the prime mover in initiating a Field Trips course that takes students to production operations throughout California.
In addition to fulfilling his formal responsibilities with distinction, Ian made positive contributions to many of the department's activities. He was known for his wonderful sense of humor and will be remembered for his good nature and love of family and friends. He will also be remembered for his love of dancing; he and wife, Eleanore, could be found dancing at the department Holiday Party and at weddings of friends and students.