Van Burgess, Alpine, Utah County, has been appointed deputy commissioner of the Utah Department of Agriculture, replacing Edison Stephens, Henefer, who retired Oct. 1.

Burgess, a veteran of 22 years with the UDA, has served as director of plant industry for the department for the past three years.Agriculture Commissioner Cap Ferry said Burgess will retain his title as director of plant industry for the time being.

A key leader in the state's fruit industry, Burgess is a graduate of Brigham Young University with a bachelor's degree in animal husbandry and a minor in horticulture.

Since coming to the UDA in 1968, Burgess has led several moves to increase Utah's fruit marketing revenue.

In 1986 Burgess was honored by the Utah State Horticulture Society for his contributions to the state's fruit industry.

Stephens joined the UDA in June 1978 after serving in the state Legislature for eight years, three terms in the House and one in the Senate. He became director of weights and measures in 1984 and deputy commissioner in 1985.