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Soil conservators name new top manager

Retired soil conservationist Glen Shaw has been hired as the new executive director of the Soil Conservation Council of Canada.

Shaw, who hails from Moose Jaw, Sask., assumed the new post earlier this month for the organization, which is based 140 km east of Moose Jaw at Indian Head, Sask.

“Glen served on our board of directors and brings several decades as a soil conservationist and developer of programs dedicated to protecting Canada’s soil resources,” said council president Eugene Legge, a chicken producer from Harbour Main, N.L., in a release Thursday.

“Glen’s colleagues have grown to appreciate his strong leadership and management skills, coupled with a thorough but practical knowledge of farming systems and soil conservation practices.”

Shaw replaces Doug McKell, who steps down from the executive post after seven years.

Shaw started his career with Saskatchewan’s agriculture department, then moved to Manitoba Agriculture as a land use specialist and later as a soil conservationist.

He later went to work for the federal government’s Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA) as a soil conservationist in Saskatoon, and later as manager of its northern Saskatchewan region and its soil resource division, before his retirement in 2007.

Shaw played a “key role” in developing a number of soil conservation and agri-environmental programs including Save Our Soils, Permanent Cover Program, Green Plan, and the Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Program, the council said Thursday.

The council noted that Shaw has also worked closely with groups such as the Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association, Saskatchewan Stock Growers and Saskatchewan Forage Council to help them line up federal funding for demonstration and extension programs for farmers.

As the council’s executive director, Shaw will lead a non-government organization (NGO) acting at the national level for soil conservation, working with governments, the private sector and other NGOs on projects that address the issue of soil degradation.

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