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Support Ag Students and Young Professionals in the Agriculture Industry at the Cultivating Connections Brunch

This year at Ag in MotionTM, the Cultivating Connections Brunch, presented by FCC, will be hosted to connect young ag professionals with experienced agribusiness mentors. This networking brunch will a feature a panel discussion with speakers and a moderator to facilitate discussion and emphasize the importance of making connections with leaders from various fields of the agriculture industry.

The Cultivating Connections Brunch will be hosted on Thursday July 19, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. in the Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Special Event Tent.

There is no charge to attend this event, and admission passes to the show will be provided if needed.  Click here to register if you are interested in attending. Spaces are limited.

Thank you to the amazing speakers who have offered to share their expertise with brunch attendees. Here is a preview of who will be participating in the panel discussion:

Bob Cochran

Bob Cochran is the General Manager of Highline Manufacturing in Vonda SK.  He grew up riding tractors and combines on a farm in Northeast SK.  Prior to Highline, most of Bob’s career was with Bourgault Industries as a design engineer developing seeding equipment.  He has also worked with PAMI, CNH, and Badger Daylighting – a hydrovac company in Alberta. Bob is passionate about agriculture and more specifically how farm equipment can help producers become more efficient in their operations.



Alanna Koch

A long-time agriculture champion and former senior government executive, Alanna Koch was most recently Deputy Minister to the Premier and Cabinet Secretary. Prior to that, she 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. She is a Director of the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS), returning to GIFS after previously serving as one of its founding Board members. 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) and the Buffalo Plains School Division. 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 Agricultural 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 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. They have two grown daughters, Shayla and Keisha.



Trevor Thiessen

Trevor Thiessen is President/Owner of Redekop Manufacturing, based in Saskatoon, SK, Canada.  Redekop specializes in crop residue management solutions for farmers.  Prior to that, Trevor was President of Novozymes BioAg Group where he led the team responsible for the strategy and direction of the BioAg Group activities around the world.

Trevor has been involved in several industry boards.  Currently sitting on Brett Young Seeds and Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce Boards and in the past Gardiner Dam Terminal and Innovation Saskatchewan’s Boards.

With an agriculture background spanning more than 25 years, Trevor has been involved in marketing, sales, production, and research and development in many managerial positions. Trevor’s work in the agriculture industry covers North America, South America, Australia, Europe, and Asia.

Trevor has a Degree in Finance and Marketing as well as an MBA, both from the University of Saskatchewan.


Leah Olson

Leah Olson is an enthusiastic business leader with over 20 years’ experience building and leading high performing teams in both the private and public sectors. Her diverse experience in agricultural, pharmaceutical and transportation industries has enabled her to live and work all across Canada.

Leah took over as President of the Agricultural Manufacturers of Canada in March 2015. Under her leadership, AMC’s membership has grown by over 20%. She and her team work extensively with small to medium sized manufacturers of agricultural equipment across Canada.

Leah is fluent in French and English. She has a MBA from Queen’s University and a master’s degree in public policy and public administration from Concordia University.

Leah is vice chair of the WESTEST board of directors, a board member of Ag West Bio, chair of the Saskatchewan chapter of the Ernest C. Manning Innovation Awards, and a board member for Enterprise Machine Intelligence and Learning Initiative (EMILI). She is an avid runner and level 2 nationally certified rugby coach.


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