Before coming to NC State as the Director of NC Extension, Bonanno owned and operated a farm just north of Boston specializing in fresh market vegetables, bedding plants and vegetable transplants. After earning his Ph.D. in plant physiology and horticultural crops from Oregon State University in 1982, he joined the faculty at NC State, serving as a Cooperative Extension weed specialist and CALS researcher for vegetable crops from 1983 to 1989. In addition, he had been an adjunct professor and Extension educator with the University of Massachusetts (UMass) from 1989-2016. Bonanno served on the American Farm Bureau Federation board of directors as well as the President of the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation.
B.S. Soil Science and Agronomy Cornell University
M.S. Weed Science Cornell University
Ph.D. Plant Physiology Oregon State University 1982