Francis Hedley Auld was born in 1881 on a farm near Cove Head, Prince Edward Island. He attended Prince of Wales College at Charlottetown, graduated in 1899, and taught school for a time. In 1902, at the age of 21, he came to Western Canada, with the intended destination of Edmonton. But a stopover to visit his brother then teaching at Abernethy, Saskatchewan, brought about a change of plans, and he was persuaded by the late Hon. W. R. Motherwell, with whom his brother had boarded, to remain in the province.
His first job was in a general store at Abernethy, but Motherwell, who served as Minister of Agriculture in the Provinceís first legislature, found him work in the Dairy Branch. Shortly thereafter he became Superintendent of Fairs and Institutes, and in 1910, he was invited to become the first Director of Extension at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.
He returned to the Provincial Department of Agriculture in 1914, and two years later became Deputy Minister of Agriculture, a position he held for 30 years under 10 ministers, all of whom benefited greatly from his wide experience and understanding of agriculture and its people. During the span of his service as Deputy Minister, farm production increased from a value of two-and-a-half million dollars to more than $500 million in the year of his retirement in 1947.
In 1920, Hedley Auld was Secretary of the Better Farming Commission, and in 1928 he served as Secretary on the Royal Commission on Grain, under the chairmanship of Mr. Justice Turgeon. He was elected to the Senate of the University of Saskatchewan in 1944, and in 1947 became Chancellor. In 1936 the University of Saskatchewan conferred upon him the degree of Honorary Doctor of Laws. He was named a Fellow of the Agricultural Institute of Canada, and in 1946 he was made a member of the Order of the British Empire "for meritorious service as Saskatchewanís Deputy Minister of Agriculture".