Saskatchewan names new deputy ag minister

(Dave Bedard photo)

A promotion for Saskatchewan’s deputy minister of agriculture leads to a promotion for one of the ministry’s assistant deputies.

Doug Moen, who’s leaving his post as deputy minister to Premier Brad Wall at the end of June, on Friday announced Rick Burton as the province’s new deputy minister of agriculture, effective July 1.

As the province’s top bureaucrat for agriculture, Burton replaces Alanna Koch, who in turn replaces Moen on July 1 as deputy minister to the premier.

Burton was the ag ministry’s assistant deputy minister (ADM) for regulatory and innovation from April 2008 to October 2013, and has since served as ADM for policy.

Raised on a family farm at Kipling, Sask., about 140 km north of Estevan, Burton has a BSA in ag economics from the University of Saskatchewan and an MBA from the University of Regina, and has worked for the ag ministry for over 25 years.

His previous roles in the ministry included stints as director for the Crop Development branch and director of the Policy branch.

Koch, who in July will be the first woman to serve as Saskatchewan’s top public servant, was appointed deputy ag minister in 2007.

Koch had previously served as president of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance and as executive director of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association. She and her husband farm near Edenwold, 45 km northeast of Regina. — Network

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