Farm Credit Administration Chairman Dallas Tonsager passed away Tuesday after a battle with lymphoma. Tonsager was a long-time champion of agriculture and rural America.
“Dallas was a good and honest man who worked hard on behalf of farmers and ranchers,” NCGA CEO Jon Doggett said. “He never lost touch with his rural roots and used his leadership positions to advocate for rural communities.”
Tonsager served as undersecretary for rural development at USDA from 2009 to 2013, overseeing an expansion of rural broadband development and increased funding for first- and second-generation biofuels, among other initiatives.
Tonsager grew up on a South Dakota dairy farm and served as South Dakota Farmers Union President and USDA state director for rural development. He was also a founding member of Rural Americans for Obama, served on the board of National Farmers Union Insurance, was a member of the CFTC advisory board, and executive director of the South Dakota Value-Added Agriculture Development Center.