Snake River Archive

Meet the Partners: Les Ito

Tuesday, September 6, 2011 @ 11:09 PM
posted by Tiffany

Les ItoLes was born and raised on his family farm in Ontario, Oregon where he began working on the farm at a very early age. As a child, he weeded onions and beets, graduated to irrigating duties, and a soon as his feet could reach the pedals, he was driving tractors!

After graduating from Ontario High School, Les attended college at Oregon State University for one year, and then transferred to Treasure Valley Community College for a year. While attending college he held jobs as a gas station attendant, sales clerk at Bi-Mart, graveyard shift at Ore-Ida Foods, building trailer houses, and being an office manager. Then, Les went on to the University of Oregon where he completed a degree in Financial Management. After completing college, he returned to the farm in 1976. Les finds it interesting when he receives an alumni call seeking donations for the University Oregon and he is asked, “Why didn’t you use your degree?” His constant reply is that operating a farm is not about standing with a pitchfork herding a bunch of chickens!

Les married his wife Tonya in 1988 and they have one son, Staff Sgt. Brian Condra, who is currently serving in the US Army at Ft. Stills, Oklahoma. Tonya is also a local product, growing up on a family farm in Adrian, Oregon. She is a library clerk at the local library and her primary job duty is driving the Bookmobile to outlying communities in Malheur County, which allows County residents more access to library materials.

Les’ mother is a spry 91 years old and is currently living at the Nyssa Gardens Assisted Living center. His older brother (Fran) is a nuclear physicist for URS and lives in New Mexico. His younger brother (Chris) is the Director of Product Development for Peterbilt Motors and lives in Texas.

When asked about his interests, Les has always been involved in machinery and motorized vehicles. He has become more of a spectator now but he used to participate in city league baseball, basketball, volleyball, and bowling.

Since 1977, through thick and thin Les has been a fan of the star-crossed Portland Trailblazers. He still enjoys watching them except for the times he is cursing at the television! IN ADDITION, who in Oregon does not follow the Oregon Ducks football team and their exciting brand of football? Go Ducks!

After harvest and fall work is completed, Tonya and Les enjoy taking long road trips that are not overly planned so they can take side trips, which have resulted in finding some of the most interesting towns and historical sites. Les feels very fortunate to be married to a librarian, who keeps him well stocked in reading material.

In 2005, Les was named the Ontario Chamber of Commerce Agriculturist of the Year. He is currently serving on the Malheur County Onion Board (Vice-President), Malheur County Weed Advisory Board (Vice-Chairman), Malheur Watershed Local Advisory Committee, and the Legislative/Crisis Preparedness Committee.

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