Alanna Koch was appointed Deputy Minister of Saskatchewan Agriculture in November 2007. Alanna has been involved in the agriculture industry, both professionally and personally, for most of her life. For the two years prior to her appointment as Deputy Minister, she worked with the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA), an organization that advocates an open and fair trading environment for agriculture and agri-food products – first as Vice-President and then as President. Her career in agriculture and agricultural policy also includes the roles of Director with Agricore United, Executive Director with the Western Canadian Wheat Growers and Director of the George Morris Centre at the University of Guelph.
Alanna has also helped develop agricultural extension services in Atlantic Canada, served as a national judge for Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers’ program and as a committee member for Canadian Western Agribition.
She has a Chartered Director designation from the Directors College, a program of the Conference Board of Canada and the Michael D. DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University. She is a graduate of the Canadian Agriculture Lifetime Leadership program and an Honorary Life Member of the Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists.
In addition to being a Director on the GIFS Board of Directors, Alanna also serves on the boards of Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation and the Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership (STEP).
She was named one of the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame 2011 inductees. The Hall of Fame formally and publicly recognizes persons who, in the course of their residence in Saskatchewan, have made significant contributions to the welfare and improvement of Saskatchewan agriculture and to a better way of life for the farm family. In 2012, Alanna received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work on behalf of the province’s producers. In honour of Her Majesty, the Royal Canadian Mint created 60,000 medals that were awarded to outstanding Canadians who have made a significant contribution to their province or community.
Alanna and her husband, Gerry Hertz, own and operate a grain farm at Edenwold, Saskatchewan. They have two daughters who keep them very busy. They are also involved in their small community of Edenwold.