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David Tonso named to United States Potato Board

Posted: Thursday, Apr 11th, 2013


David Tonso


DENVER —David Tonso of Monte Vista, was seated as a board member on the United States Potato Board (USPB) at the organization’s 40th Annual Meeting, March 14-15, in Colorado Springs. He was named to serve on the Board by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on December 6, 2012, for a three-year term ending February 29, 2016. New board members serving on the USPB in their first three-year term can be reappointed to serve a second consecutive three-year term.

Tonso is the CEO and managing partner of Canon Potato Co., which is the packaging and shipping part of Tonso Farms. Since 1984, he has been involved with this family farming operation growing Norkotah Russet, Rio Grande Russet, Sangre (a red variety), Yukon Gold and Yukon Gem varieties. Malting barley is also grown at Tonso Farms.

Tonso’s father, Jim Tonso, served on the USPB during the 1980s. In 1954, Jim began purchasing and shipping potatoes from Colorado’s San Luis Valley. By 1974, the family had started their own farming enterprise, growing potatoes of their own to market.

“I would have to say my understanding of the marketing structure and people involved in the potato industry is what I bring to the national potato industry,” Tonso explains. “Having been positioned on the marketing side of our operation, I get to see the entire fresh picture, from field to table.”

Tonso is a past participant of the Potato Industry Leadership Institute, and member of the Produce Marketing Association. He is also a member of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association, and has served as the chairman of this organization’s potato section. He is a member of United Potato Growers of America and has served as Vice Chairman and Marketing Committee Chairman on the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee. He has served as a member and chairman on the San Luis Valley Shippers Association.

Tonso graduated from Colorado State University, Fort Collins, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Agri-Marketing. He is also a graduate of Center High School, Center. He is married to Hope, and they have two daughters: Sara (age 25) and Melanie (age 22). As for hobbies, interests and talents, Tonso enjoys spending time on golf.

David Tonso was confirmed with fellow New and Re-Nominated USPB Board Members by Patricia Petrella, USDA-AMS Marketing Specialist, Fruit and Vegetable Programs (right side podium)at the 40th USPB Annual Meeting, Thursday, March 14, 2013, at The Broadmoor Hotel, Colorado Springs.

Authorized under the 1971 Potato Research and Promotion Act, the USPB is composed of producers, importers and a public member appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. Producer members are nominated at state and local producer meetings and by mail ballot.

The USPB administers an industry-funded national research and promotion program to increase US exports and domestic potato consumption. Visit www.uspotatoes.com.












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