Cat’s Track #168 – Alanna Koch
Welcome to Cat’s Track Episode 168, with guest Alanna Koch.
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A farmer, industry leader, long-time agriculture champion, former senior government executive and experienced corporate director, Alanna Koch is the Chair of the Board of the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) at the University of Saskatchewan. She is a Board member for SeedMaster Manufacturing as well as the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame and is Chair of the CN Agricultural Advisory Council. She also works with farmers and the agriculture industry through her consulting company, KoHert Agri Inc. Prior to this, she served as Deputy Minister to Premier Brad Wall and Cabinet Secretary and was the Saskatchewan Deputy Minister of Agriculture for nine years. As one of the longest serving Agriculture Deputy Ministers in Saskatchewan and Canadian history, Alanna worked closely with farmers and industry and her priority was to build and maintain public trust in agriculture by focusing on science-based decision making and communicating the benefits of modern tools and technology. Her approach of values-based leadership provided her with the opportunity to meet and mentor young leaders. Alanna has been involved in the agriculture industry, both professionally and personally, for most of her life. Before joining government, she was President of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance and was a Director with Agricore United (a predecessor of Viterra), and Executive Director of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association. She was on the board of the Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership (STEP), AVAC, the George Morris Centre at the University of Guelph and the Buffalo Plains School Division. The inaugural Extra Mile Award for Women in Agriculture was presented to her in 2018 for her contributions as a trailblazer and mentor. In 2015, she was recognized by the Regina YWCA with the Women of Distinction Award for excellence in Leadership and Management. In 2012, Alanna received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and in 2011, she was inducted into the Saskatchewan Agriculture Hall of Fame for her outstanding achievement in the sector. In 2005, her contributions to the agricultural industry and to her community were recognized when she received the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal. Alanna is a graduate of the Canadian Agriculture Lifetime Leadership program, holds a Chartered Director Designation from the Directors College and is an Honorary Life Member of the Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists. Alanna and her husband, Gerry Hertz, farm at Edenwold, Saskatchewan. They have two grown daughters, Shayla and Keisha.