David Thompson

Prince Edward Island Inductee - 2023

Born in 1947, David Thompson grew up on a small, mixed farm in Dunstaffnage, PEI. When not tending to potatoes, crops, and cows at home, David was active in his local 4-H program. He followed his passion for agriculture to the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, where he graduated in 1970 with a diploma in Agricultural Business.

David began his career with the PEI Department of Agriculture, but soon moved into private industry, first with Fisons Canada Ltd, and then Diamond Shamrock, ISK-Bioscience, Zeneca, and Syngenta Crop Protection. His career took off in crop protection sales, marketing, and technical support for farmers in the Maritimes, Quebec, and Maine.

As a dedicated agricultural steward, David became a well-known and respected advocate. Among potato and cereal growers, he was seen as a forward thinker, with concern for the environment. In the 25 years he spent on the Atlantic and PEI Pesticides Advisory Committees, David spearheaded many stewardship initiatives, including the Sprayer Calibration Project. These programs aimed to minimize the risk and use of active ingredients on agricultural lands, reducing impacts on nearby streams and watersheds.

During his time with Crop Life Atlantic Canada, as member, Chair, and President, David initiated protocols for safe disposal of pesticides and the standardization of safety protocols for pesticide warehousing. He established programs like the Recycling-Reuse-Disposal Plastic Containers and Jug Program and the Safe Disposal of Pesticide Paper Bag Project. He was an initial member of the Pesticide Run Off Working Committee, and was instrumental in establishing strong Land Management Practices for PEI. He was recognized with a leadership award for the development of this project.

In 1993, David became a founding member of the World Potato Congress, where he would serve in various capacities, including as President and CEO, until 2018. His leadership on a global scale included hosting successful congresses in China, Scotland, USA, Peru, and Ireland. David has been a steadfast promoter of the potato industry, bringing together farmers, government, and industry to further develop this important global crop. He is well-known for connecting key stakeholders to solve issues and establish long-term relationships. He has provided valuable long-term support to regional, national, and international organizations, including the Potato Association of America and the Canadian Horticulture Council.

As President of the PEI Grain Elevators Corporation, David helped generate exponential growth of the grain and soybean industry on PEI. This included provincial and federal trade delegation trips to China and other regions to open and expand new market opportunities for farmers. He served as a Director of the Canadian Association of Agriculture Retailers, where he was recognized with the Chairman’s Award. In retirement, David continues to work and volunteer with this organization, along with numerous others.

The Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame inducted David in 2017 for his valuable service to the industry. In 2016, he was recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus by his alma mater, now the Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture.

In addition to his work in agriculture, David has a commitment to strengthening his community. He has served as member and leader for Charlottetown Kinsmen, Charlottetown District Recreation Hockey League, Rotary Club of Charlottetown, Ducks Unlimited, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation, and the Greater Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce.

Nominated by the Honourable Bloyce Thompson, Minister of Agriculture and Land for his environmental stewardship and global contributions to the potato industry, David Thompson is a deserving inductee into the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame.