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Yukon names new minister for agriculture

Territory-level oversight for agriculture in the Yukon has changed hands in a cabinet shuffle Thursday by Premier Dennis Fentie.

Southern Lakes MLA Patrick Rouble, who remains as the territory’s education minister, has also been named as the Yukon’s new minister for energy, mines and resources, which includes responsibility for agriculture.

In his new portfolio, Rouble replaces Porter Creek Centre MLA Archie Lang, who remains as minister for highways and public works, and for community services. Deputy Premier Elaine Taylor takes over Rouble’s previous responsibility for the Public Services Commission.

Rouble, an MLA since 2002 and cabinet minster since 2006, was raised in Nepean, Ont. and recently completed an MBA from Royal Roads University in Victoria.

He moved to the Yukon in 1992 and now lives at Marsh Lake, about 50 km southeast of Whitehorse. He was a director of the Marsh Lake advisory council before entering territory-level politics.

Rouble’s resume includes experience in the construction, mining and tourism industries and as an operator of two small businesses.

About 33,400 acres of the Yukon territory are considered agricultural, with about 40 per cent of that acreage devoted to crops and another 20 per cent now under development for ag use.

About 70 per cent of the Yukon’s farms are found within 100 km of Whitehorse; the largest farming area in the territory is in the Takhini Valley, west of the city. Other “significant” farming areas are found near Dawson City, Watson Lake and Mayo.

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